Jacob Ford/Odessa American/Associated Press

A “crimped” part prevented an ejection seat from a stricken B-1B Lancer bomber from firing in May during an in-flight emergency, forcing the aircrew to land the bomber rather than abandon a stranded crew member, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told reporters on Tuesday.

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The Air Force on Friday formally recognized the actions of the B-1B Lancer bomber aircrew that saved both themselves and their aircraft amid a fiery emergency landing in May, officials announced on Saturday.

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U.S. Air Force

The MC-103J Commando II airplane rumbled low to the ground, nearing the intense firefight below where a team of American special operators and allied commandos were encircled by Taliban fighters in a remote part of Afghanistan.

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