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Air Force Capt. Nathan J. Nylander

Died April 27, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

35, of Hockley, Texas, assigned to 25th Operational Weather Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.; died April 27 in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained from gunfire from an Afghan military trainee.

Fallen airmen’s bodies arrive at Dover

By Jill Laster

Staff writer

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. — The bodies of eight airmen killed in Afghanistan returned to the U.S. early April 30, with the Air Force’s top leader in attendance.

The airmen and a U.S. contractor died April 27 when an Afghan pilot opened fire at Kabul International Airport, reportedly after an argument.

Top Air Force and military leaders — including Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Roy — were in attendance for the dignified transfer.

The Defense Department on April 29 released the names of the eight airmen killed in the attack. They include:

* Lt. Col. Frank D. Bryant Jr., 37, of Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

* Maj. Philip D. Ambard, 44, of Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

* Maj. Jeffrey O. Ausborn, 41, of Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

* Maj. David L. Brodeur, 34, of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

* Master Sgt. Tara R. Brown, 33, of Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility Washington, Md.

* Maj. Raymond G. Estelle II, 40, of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.

* Capt. Nathan J. Nylander, 35, of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

* Maj. Charles A. Ransom, 31, of Langley-Eustis.

Also on April 29, the International Security Assistance Force released details of its initial investigation into the shooting, “in light of inaccuracy in media reports to date on this incident,” according to an ISAF release.

ISAF concluded that the gunman, who was carrying two weapons, left the room where the shooting occurred severely wounded, dying in a different location within the building. He appeared to be acting alone and had no connection with the Taliban, according to ISAF.

2 of slain airmen based at Ariz. installations

By Cecilia Chan

The (Phoenix) Arizona Republic

Two of eight U.S. airmen killed in an April 27 shooting at an Afghanistan airport were stationed at bases in Arizona.

Lt. Col. Frank D. Bryant Jr., 37, of Knoxville, Tenn., and Capt. Nathan J. Nylander, 35, of Hockley, Texas, died Wednesday after gunfire erupted at Kabul International Airport, the Pentagon said.

Bryant was assigned to the 56th Operations Group at Luke Air Force Base. Nylander was assigned to the 25th Operational Weather Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Nylander is survived by his wife, Miriam, and three children.

Col. John Cherrey, 355th Fighter Wing commander in Tucson, said the tragedy hits close to home with its own among the casualties.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and loved ones of the airmen who paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting our freedoms,” Cherrey said.

Brig. Gen. Jerry Harris Jr., commander of the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke, said the base was devastated by Bryant’s death.

“Our focus now turns to supporting his family and friends as they go through the grieving process,” Harris said. “He was an excellent pilot, wingman and airman. He excelled in everything he did and gave his life defending the nation he served for 16 years.”

Bryant had been stationed at Luke since 2007. He was deployed in June as an air adviser to Afghanistan to help develop that country’s air force, Luke spokeswoman Barbara Plante said.

Bryant leaves behind a wife and child, according to the Gannett NBC affiliate in Knoxville.

“We’d like to send our deepest thoughts and sympathy to the family and friends of all of the airmen killed in Wednesday’s tragic attack,” Harris said.

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