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Plane crash in Afghanistan kills Kailua man, 3 other airmen

Capt. Reid Nishizuka was assigned to Beale Air Force Base, Calif.

By William Cole

LAST UPDATED: 4:59 p.m. HST, Apr 28, 2013

A 30-year-old Kailua man was among four Air Force personnel killed Saturday near Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan in the crash of an MC-12 aircraft, the Pentagon said.

Capt. Reid K. Nishizuka, the pilot, was assigned to the 427th Reconnaissance Squadron, Beale Air Force Base, Calif.

Also killed were: 

>> Capt. Brandon L. Cyr, 28, of Woodbridge, Va., assigned to the 906th Air Refueling Squadron, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

>> Staff Sgt. Richard A. Dickson, 24, of Rancho Cordova, Calif., assigned to the 306th Intelligence Squadron, Beale Air Force Base, Calif.

>> Staff Sgt. Daniel N. Fannin, 30, of Morehead, Ky., assigned to the 552nd Operations Support Squadron, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.  

The four Air Force service members were deployed to the 361st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron with the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing at Kandahar Air Field. Their bodies were recovered.

The Pentagon said the cause of the crash is under investigation. However, initial reporting indicates there was no enemy activity in the area at the time.

The plane crashed in Zabul province, about 110 miles northeast of Kandahar Air Field, an Air Force statement said. 

The MC-12W Liberty is a medium- to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft, according to the Air Force. Its primary mission is providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support directly to ground forces. 

A public affairs supervisor at Beale Air Force Base said the captain was piloting the MC-12 when it went down.

According to Nishizuka's Facebook profile, which is mostly private, he studied aerospace engineering at the University of Notre Dame after graduating from Kailua High School in 2000.  

Nishizuka entered military service in June 2005 and completed multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan before his most recent tour, said Staff Sgt. Robert Trujillo by telephone. 

Trujillo said Nishizuka arrived at Beale in November and deployed to Afghanistan last month. 

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