April 29th, 2011
04:39 PM ET

U.S. troops killed by Afghan pilot were armed, NATO says

The eight American troops killed by an Afghan pilot earlier this week at an airport in Kabul were all armed with "weapons and ammo," according to the preliminary findings released Friday of an investigation by NATO and the Afghan government.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan has said the military pilot opened fire on the troops, sparking a gunfight on Wednesday.

The investigation centers around how the gunman managed to kill eight armed troops, an ISAF official briefed on the investigation told CNN. A private American contractor was also killed in the shooting.

Investigators also found that the gunman was severely wounded prior to departing the room where the initial attack took place, according to an ISAF statement about the investigation. The gunman was found dead in a different part of the building at the military section of the Kabul International Airport, ISAF said.

Photos of the aftermath show a trail of blood as the gunman left the room, the ISAF official said. Investigators do not know if he died of wounds or committed suicide.

All eight American service members were killed in the room where the shooting occurred.

Also Friday, the U.S. Department of Defense also released the names of the eight airmen killed:

- Maj. Philip D. Ambard, 44, of Edmonds, Washington. He was assigned to the 460th Space Communications Squadron, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado.

- Maj. Jeffrey O. Ausborn, 41, of Gadsden, Alabama. He was assigned to the 99th Flying Training Squadron, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

- Maj. David L. Brodeur, 34, of Auburn, Massachussetts. He was assigned to the 11th Air Force, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

- Master Sgt. Tara R. Brown, 33, of Deltona, Florida. She was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

- Lt. Col. Frank D. Bryant Jr., 37, of Knoxville, Tennessee. He was assigned to the 56th Operations Group, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

- Maj. Raymond G. Estelle II, 40, of New Haven, Connecticut. He was assigned to Headquarters Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

- Capt. Nathan J. Nylander, 35, of Hockley, Texas. He was assigned to the 25th Operational Weather Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

- Capt. Charles A. Ransom, 31, of Midlothian, Virginia. He was assigned to the 83rd Network Operations Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. pamiri

    Those who fought against soviet regime, now they are not fighting against Americans, its is just Salerno’s propagandas. Those Salerno says the coward fighter against international forces and people of Afghanistan is those people who they were fighting against Russian (soviet) its completely wrong, these Alqada Taliban are the paid slaves of the Pakistan, Arabia, Russia , China , Iran etc, who providing supports for Taliban through alms and donation to them in one or the other ways.

    Now the Mujaheedin knew better that what was the purpose of Russian ( soviet) attacked ( invaded Afghanistan) and its very differ from what the Americans want here in Afghanistan and for what purpose they came here, even every one knows this. American are helping Afghan people and those people who believe on democracy and want the government for the people and by the people, not for the Pakistan and by ISI and their slaves in Afghanistan.

    for one minutes you can imagine the Taliban time in Kabul and other provinces of Afghanistan, they occupied that time through their coward Pakistanis Arabas etc, which every where you could see the hands and legs were hanging on the butchery shops unexpected of those people who were against Taliban, Taliban instead were claiming these are the people who did thievery actions, Taliban just were labeling wrongly on those who were against them, Taliban Alqaeda massacred Hazara, Uzbeks and Tajik when they were in Afghanistan, and also they burned many land and gardens in Shamali, Bamiyan, Sarepul, Maimana, Mazar.

    May 7, 2011 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. AbelnotCain

    This is a terrible loss, a needless act against innocent Service Members. As some would have it, this is a time for them to rub salt in the wounds; but I would expect nothing less from a coward, one who continues to hide behind a keyboard or cell phone to blow something up. Afghanistan is a magnificent country; filled with beauty and culture like no other place in the world. I have lived with the Afghans, eaten their food, laughed, & cared for their injured. I have seen heroes made, cowards destroy, & still the hope survives among the Afghan people. ISAF/Coalition Forces, whatever you want to call them...they are here because they were asked to be here. Of course not by everyone, but those with a voice; the voices of the people. Corruption happens everywhere, we see it daily, and by the highest of political power...it will always happen. This event which took place (specifically this one) was a horrific by any standard; I hate to tell all of you, but those who were killed, they were all unarmed; it is the policy for unloaded weapons to be carried if carried at all around said area. I see this a thousand times...why? Because those of us who work side-by-side (Shauna ba Shauna) have a sense of trust; a trust that you can see leaves innocent people dead.
    So what if this Afghan AF Pilot was an insurgent...the minute he decided to kill, he became the enemy. It's well known that certain countries look at war from a different point, i.e. die for the glory, to become a martyr, or to simply kill for a belief; some of our American Forces have Service Members who harbor ill thoughts or ideologies, but they can't hide these for long, they eventually come forward...we have all seen the atrocities they cause during war. There is no denying that I am a true blooded American Service member, serving in multiple wars, but I know from right and wrong, and this was something terribly wrong. These men and women deserve the respect and praise of hero's who paid the ultimate sacrifice; a sacrifice for another country, and their own. This is not a time to spread lies, fanatic religious beliefs or even insurgent ideology...give the dead, their families, & their friends the moment of reflect they deserve; quell your personal disdain for another day.

    May 6, 2011 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. Viper 04

    God bless the families of the Air Force members (and 1 civilian not named above)! I was in the ops room just 7 months prior. These airmen train the Afghan Air Force (no longer a Corps) how fly and employ the western way, along with many airmen of many other nations (Czech Republic, etc, etc). These Afghan airmen then employ against national threats (Taliban, etc), and have saved literally thousands of Afghan lives during my deployment alone.

    Though it's easy to ask the question on how 1 man could do so much killing, it changes nothing. A lot of good men and one good lady died in a terrible occurrence. Sadly, this type of thing has happened in our US as well.

    Peace be with the families.

    From an F-16 pilot...and a Boy Scout Troop Leader (salerno)! That's My America!

    May 3, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      It is not yours America. Your country is deeply in debt as it spent 6.5 trillions for the Pentagon since 2002. You are useless parasites for the american people, wasting resources. The Afghan pilots did a favour to the americans.

      May 4, 2011 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |

    Salerno here among Afghans, those, having fought against Russians and now fighting Americans today, when make the difference between the two armies, they praise Russian bravery in face to face fighting. For Afghans, Russians were hard to fight as they had equal ideologically motivated fighting spirits and were not afraid of deaths while Americans fight for luxuries at home therefore their contract soldiers care for their lives and monthly salaries to enjoy holidays with girlfriends rather then die in a fabricated wars. Really they are very coward as you see them in Afghanistan where being a dinosaur feel proud in fighting with the mosquitoes. This is a level to which they have already fallen therefore Salerno soon God has to come forward and save his weak and innocents followers from these evil souls.

    May 1, 2011 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Yes, their goal is making people fight each other and selling weapons or just using aircrafts like in Serbia or Libya, but not always is possible, especially if you need to controll a country against the will of the people.

      May 1, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. salerno

    The gunman should be felt offended seriously by something. US arrogance is well known, even OBL blamed US for that.
    This time, thank God, the responsibles paid an high price. Americans think they can do what they want, but not always it is possible. It was no possible to get OBL. They should have asked him like they did for Assange, using legal ways. US power is shrinking internationally, the G20 was a failure for Obama. Afghanistan will be the beginning of the end.
    The financial scandals, corruption and lies to move wars around the globe are all symptoms of decadence, the same decadence of the Roman empire naufragated in this own vices.

    April 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. graybay

    Why is Fox reporting that they were not armed. That the killer got into some kind of argument, left the room and came back later and opened fire. The Col. being interviiew said that it was part of the military policy that weapons aren't allowed in the building they were in. ??? This would expain it but do we know for sure?

    April 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. gogodancer

    How can you have a chance against an AK-47 when you have only an M9mm pistol which most officers carry

    April 30, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. rob roy

    apparently the Afghan was a little quicker on the trigger then the American boy's.Take away the drone's,air support, night vision,satellite help,body armour,apache helicopters and the other coalition countries[who were told to tag along]. Slap a robe on, a pair of sandals an rpg in one hand an a AK-47 in the other and bring you boys down to the same playing level.What am i saying? 10 plus years on coalition troops are dying everyday,suicides amongst American veterans is at an all time high,multiple limb amputee's are at an alarming rate and now the pentagon is warning that the rate of attacks on coalition troops is about to increase again.Now that i think about it America,you better keep all your toys of war on hand because the next 10 years is going to just as deadly.

    April 30, 2011 at 5:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. salerno

    It happened because the US soldiers are unable to engage a real face to face fight. A true warrior alone killed 9 of them, 8 armed military officials. They were not quick enough to call air support with hellfires, the only way they can kill the enemy.
    US soldiers were mostly experienced officials, just 1 sergent and many majors or captains; they could just cause some wounds to the afghan pilot.

    April 30, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Napoli

      If we are at a meeting and I pulled an automatic rifle and started spraying the room with 7.62 rounds, you would be lucky to say "good-bye", too. Never mind firing back. It is called a surprise attack.

      Surely, it was an effective kill. Planned by an enemy as an attack or just a trusted collaborator gone mad is yet to be seen. Again, your hypothesis are plausible, so are others. In the mean time, let's hold down the exotic heroic accolades, along with the accusations of a lack of it on the ISAF side. Even though ISAF prefers a less personal approach to combat, so does the enemy. ISAF does not lack in door kicking shoot-outs and victories, with a personal touch.

      April 30, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      The US soldiers are just boyscouts without air support.

      April 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Napoli

        As the joke goes, it is without adult supervision.

        April 30, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bringit!

        God Bless Our Soldiers. More Afghan civilans are dying at the hands of Taliban suicide attacks! Our soliders are heros and I'm ready for them to kick some butt!!! Good will always overcome evil!

        April 30, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        US soldiers are baby killers, but this is what happen when they have to face a man.

        May 1, 2011 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
    • What?

      Are you joking me Salerno, you clown. You think your some kind of Bad @ss spouting your nonsense while you eat cheetos and type on your keyboard. Unable to engage in a real fight??? These "insurgents" or whatever you want to call them hide in the mountains 600 meters away and blow up IED's (many smeared with feces to promote infection) while ISAF troops (a coalition of over 40 nations) TRY to settle down the wild west that is know as Afghanistan, and they're afraid of a fair fight? Since when is pretending to be a ANA soldier so you can sneak around and kill soldiers A FAIR FIGHT???? Go watch some p0rn and keep typing away you imbecile.

      April 30, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        What – HaHa !! I understand your frustration, but the gunman was not a Taliban. Probably he was insulted and reacted as a man against boyscouts. He won 9-1.

        May 1, 2011 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
      • Napoli

        What? – you forgot to mention for Salerno how many babies and women the bad guys get with their efforts. 3/4ths of the civilian casualties last year were attributed to Insurgent attacks. If ISAF killed babies, they were most likely children of the bad guys and bad guys in the making. I suppose the bad guys can claim they killed babies because they were good guys in the making. Never mind, who the most suicide bombers themselves are...

        May 1, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
      • Napoli

        ...Never mind who most of the suicide bombers themselves are....

        May 1, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Bad guys and good guys are a relative, subjective and opinable definitions. On a objective basis I just see intruders and people fighting in their country.

        May 1, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
      • Napoli

        That is a pretty simplistic view of a complicated situation.

        Good guys = ISAF and Coalition.

        Bad Guys = all those violently opposed. i.e.Taliban, (Late OBL) AQ, etc.

        May 2, 2011 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Napoli – this is your opinion. You are part in the fight and each part considers the enemy bad guys.

        May 2, 2011 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
  10. Gary Johndro

    This is indeed terrible. How could this have happened? It's beyond me,it is,it is.

    April 29, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |