Sunday, February 26, 2012

USAF Lt. Colonel John Loftis

44-year-old US Air Force Lt. Col. John D. Loftis, from Paducah, Kentucky, was one of two US military officers killed on 25th February 2012 by an Afghan national inside the Interior Ministry in Kabul.

The high-ranking officer was assigned to the 866th Air Expeditionary Squadron, Kabul, Afghanistan.

After graduating from Calloway County High School in 1986, Lt. Col. Loftis attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he graduated in 1990. He was commissioned by the Air Force in 1996. He served in the Peace Corp for two years.

More to follow.

Maryland National Guard Major Robert Marchanti

US Army Major Robert J. Marchanti II of the Maryland Army National Guard was killed on 25th February 2012 at the Afghan Interior Ministry in Kabul.

48-year-old Major Marchanti served with the 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Division Security Partnering Team. He had been working since September as a mentor to the Afghan National Police. This was his first deployment to Afghanistan.

He joined the Army in 1984 and the Maryland National Guard in 1986. He leaves his wife, four children and a grandson.

US Army Sergeant Joshua Born

25-year-old US Army Sergeant Joshua A. Born, from Niceville, Florida, was killed on 23rd February 2012, in Nangarhar province, by an individual dressed as an Afghan Army soldier who turned his weapon on Sgt. Born and his colleague, Sgt. Timothy Conrad Jr.

Sgt. Born served with the Fort Stewart, Georgia-based 385th Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne), XVIII Airborne Corps. He joined the Army in March 2007 and deployed to Afghanistan in January this year.

Sgt. Born was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, Combat Action Badge and NATO Medal. He leaves his wife Megan, his parents and other family members.

US Army Sergeant Timothy Conrad

22-year-old US Army Sergeant Timothy J. Conrad Jr., from Roanoke, Virginia, was killed on 23rd February 2012, in Nangarhar province, by an individual dressed as an Afghan Army soldier who turned his weapon on Sgt. Conrad and his colleague, Sgt. Joshua Born.

Sgt. Conrad (who was posthumously promoted), served with the Fort Stewart, Georgia-based 385th Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne), XVIII Airborne Corps.

Sgt. Conrad was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, Combat Action Badge and NATO Medal. He leaves his wife, Holly and their 7 month old son, Bentley, his mother, Mikki Wray, father Tim Conrad Sr., sisters Alex Conrad and Amanda Meland and brother, Austin Wray.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Two NATO soldiers killed in Kabul

Two Nato soldiers have reportedly been killed in a shooting at the Afghan Interior Ministry in Kabul - as more die in a fifth day of violent mass protests over the burning of Korans at a Nato base.

The heavily barricaded ministry in the centre of the Afghan capital has been sealed off with reports that the victims were a US military Colonel and Major.

A Nato statement said: "Initial reports indicate an individual turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service members in Kabul City today, killing two service members."

The Interior Ministry confirmed: "two of our international colleagues were killed inside the compound of the interior ministry. The ministry is investigating."

Two US Military Policemen killed in Nangahar

Two US Army Military Policemen were killed on 23rd February 2012 from small-arms fire in Nangahar province.

25-year-old Sergeant Joshua Born from Florida and Sergeant Timothy Conrad Jr from Virginia both served with the 385th Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne), XVIII Airborne Corps, based at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Funeral of fallen Gurkha Lance Corporal Gajbahadur Gurung

More than a thousand people have gathered in Aldershot for the funeral of a Gurkha soldier killed in Afghanistan. Lance Corporal Gajbahadur Gurung, from 1st Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, was on his third tour of Afghanistan when he was shot in January.

Gaj had joined the Gurkhas in 2004 and this was his third tour of Afghanistan. He had been on foot patrol in the Khar Nikah region of the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province working with the Afghan police. More than a thousand people gathered for his service, which took place at Princes Hall in Aldershot.

Two NATO personnel killed by Afghan Army soldier

KABUL (23 February 2012): an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform shot and killed two NATO/ISAF service members today.

The victims, both US Army Military Policemen, were later identified as: Sergeant Joshua Born and Sergeant Timothy Conrad.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

US Army Sergeant Allen R. McKenna Jr

28-year-old US Army Sergeant Allen R. McKenna Jr., from Noble, Oklahoma, died on 21st February 2012 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

Sgt. McKenna joined the US Army in September 2004 and served with the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, based at Fort Carson, Colorado. This was his second deployment to Afghanistan.

His decorations included the Army Commendation Medal twice and the Army Achievement Medal.

3 Georgian soldiers killed in action

Three soldiers from Georgia were killed in action on 21st February 2012 during a combat mission in Helmand province.

The three servicemen were named as Corporal Beraia Valiko, Corporal Meladze Ruslan and Corporal Kacharava Paata. They were killed when their combat vehicle exploded following an insurgent attack.

All three served in the 31st Light Infantry Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Brigade.

More information to follow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

British military cemetery in Kabul

A local Afghan has been caring for the graves of British troops killed in the country during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Abdul Samay tends to the Kabul compound where soldiers who died in previous conflicts in Afghanistan were laid to rest.

His father also maintained the land before him, although he had to pretend he was there just to graze cattle for fear of reprisals.

The cemetery was badly damaged under the Taliban who destroyed gravestones and desecrated graves, but restoration work has been undertaken to repair some of this.

Funding led by the British Embassy means Abdul can continue to look after the cemetery.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Albania - list of military fatalities

List of Albanian military fatalities in Afghanistan:

Date Name Rank Age Unit Cause

20-Feb Vogli, Feti Captain 30 1 Company, Special Forces Btn Hostile fire

Albanian Army Captain killed by Afghan police

Albanian Army Captain Feti Vogli, age 30, was killed in southern Afghanistan on 20th February 2012 while escorting a USAID team to a meeting with local Afghan officials.

Afghan police officers, who were accompanying the group, opened fire on the NATO troops. Captain Vogli died later at a hospital in Kandahar whilst a second Albanian soldier was in a coma at the hospital.

Captain Vogli was born in Baldushk, near Tirana. He graduated from the Albanian Military Academy specializing in Army Artillery. He completed the Special Forces Course in 2005 and joined the Special Forces Battalion as Group Commander.

He leaves his wife Alva and their 2-year-old daughter Egi.

Three Italian soldiers killed in Shindand

L-R: Francesco Messineo, Francesco Curro, Luca Valente
Three Italian soldiers were killed on 20th February 2012 when the Lynx VTLM vehicle they were in overturned while crossing a river, trapping three of the crew inside.

The incident happened about 20km south-west of Shindand during a recovery and rescue operation of another unit that was stranded by bad weather.

The three soldiers, all serving with 66 Military Aircraft Regiment were named as:
Chief Corporal Francesco CurrĂ², 1st Corporal Luca Valente and 1st Corporal Francesco Paolo Messineo.

A fourth soldier was injured in the accident and is currently in a stable condition in hospital.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

US Navy Petty Officer Paris Pough

US Navy Petty Officer First Class Paris S. Pough, age 40, from Columbus, Georgia, died on 17th February 2012 during a port visit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

PO Pough, a hull technician, was assigned to the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), home-ported in San Diego, California which was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan.

More information to follow.

US Army Sergeant Jerry Reed

US Army Sergeant Jerry D. Reed II, age 30, from Russellville, Arkansas, died on 16th February 2012 in Paktika province, Afghanistan.

Sgt. Reed served with the 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade, based at Grafenwoehr, Germany.

More information to follow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

SAC Ryan Tomlin killed in action in Helmand

British Senior Aircraftman Ryan Tomlin, of 2 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment was killed in action on 13th February 2012 during a patrol in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province. SAC Tomlin was fatally shot when insurgents attacked his unit.

21-year-old SAC Tomlin joined the Royal Air Force in October 2008, completing his Trainee Gunners Course in April 2009 before moving on to the Phase One Field Gunners Course. He was selected to join 2 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment, based at Royal Air Force Honington, in June 2009.

He served in Afghanistan in 2010 as a specialist driver on a rifle flight (the RAF Regiment equivalent of a platoon), defending Kandahar Air Base. He deployed on his second tour in Afghanistan in October 2011 with No. 3 RAF Force Protection Wing at Camp Bastion.

Flight Lieutenant David Martin, Deputy Squadron Commander, 2 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment, No. 3 RAF Force Protection Wing, said: "Professional, experienced and extremely popular, Senior Aircraftman Tomlin was one of the best gunners in 2 Squadron. He excelled at everything he did and he epitomised the Royal Air Force Regiment spirit in every way. He was hugely respected by his peers and he frequently mentored the younger members of the Squadron. Joining the Squadron in 2009, Senior Aircraftman Tomlin soon proved to be an exceptional marksman, displaying an excellent flair for fieldcraft."

He leaves behind his mother and father, Diane and Kevin, and a sister, Michelle.

US Marine Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes De Oca

US Marine Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes De Oca, from North Arlington, New Jersey, was killed in action on 10th February 2012 during an ambush by enemy forces in Helmand province.

20-year-old L-Cpl. Montes De Oca served with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

According to a report in the NY Daily News, L-Cpl. Montes De Oca was killed at the beginning of his patrol. "He was walking out of the base and he was immediately shot," his girlfriend Maria Samaniego said.

More information to follow.

US Army Pfc. Cesar Cortez dies in Bahrain

24-year-old US Army Private 1st Class Cesar Cortez, from Oceanside, California, died on 11th February 2012 in Bahrain.

Pfc. Cortez, who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom from a base in Bahrain, served with the 5th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, based at Fort Bliss, Texas.

More information to follow.

British Airman shot dead in Helmand

A British airman from the Royal Air Force Regiment was shot dead on Monday 13th February 2012 when insurgents attacked his patrol in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province, Britain's Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday. It is the fourth British fatality in Afghanistan so far this year.

"It is my sad duty to report that an airman was fatally wounded during an insurgent attack in the Western Dashte area of Nad-e Ali whilst on a patrol to interact with the local population," said Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Mackenzie, a spokesman for British Forces in Helmand.

Lt. Col. Mackenzie did not say whether any other service members were injured in the attack, but said the victim's family has been informed. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time," he added.

The airman has been named as SAC Ryan Tomlin.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Four civilian aircrew killed in helicopter crash

Four crew members from Tajikistan were killed on 11th February 2012 when their helicopter crashed in Zabul province during a food supply flight for ISAF troops operating in the area.

The Russian-built EY-106 helicopter belonged to the global logistic company Supreme Group, which provides services for NATO and ISAF in Afghanistan.

The cause of the crash is being investigated and is thought to have been caused by a technical malfunction. There was no reported enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash. "Investigations as to the cause of the crash are ongoing but no other parties appear to have been involved in the incident," the company, Supreme Group, said in a statement.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

US Army Sergeant 1st Class Billy Sutton

US Army Sergeant 1st Class Billy A. Sutton, died from a medical condition unrelated to combat in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan on 7th February 2012.

42-year-old Sgt Sutton, from Tupelo, Mississippi, served with the 223rd Engineer Battalion, 168th Engineer Brigade, Mississippi National Guard, based at West Point, Mississippi.

He enlisted in September 2001 and was married. He leaves his wife and stepson.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fallen Gurkha's family mourn a "born leader of men"

The family and friends of a soldier described as a “born leader of men” stood quietly yesterday, 7th January, as they watched his body repatriated to the UK.

Lance Corporal Gajbahadur Gurung, from the Royal Gurkha Rifles serving with the 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, died after he received a fatal gunshot wound while on foot patrol in Afghanistan on 27th January.

The body of the 26-year-old was flown to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, where, following a private ceremony, the cortege left to travel to Oxford.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

US Army Brigadier General Terence Hildner

US Army Brigadier General Terence J. Hildner, died in Kabul province on 3rd February 2012 apparently from natural causes, the US military said. He had commanded the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, based at Fort Hood, Texas, since August 2010 and deployed to Afghanistan in December.

Brig. Gen. Hildner served in Iraq during both Operation Desert Storm and the 2003 Iraqi war. He also served in Kuwait and was part of the last US patrol along the East-West German border before its reunification.

He assumed command of the 13th Corps Support Command's Special Troops Battalion at Fort Hood in 2003 and was in charge during two deployments, one in Iraq and one following Hurricane Katrina.

49-year-old Brig. Gen. Hildner graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1984 and attended the US Army Command and General Staff College in 1997. From July 2007 to July 2009, he led the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Repatriation to UK of fallen Gurkha Gajbahadur Gurung

The Repatriation of Lance Corporal Gajbahadur Gurung of the Royal Gurkha Rifles from the 1st Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment will be on Tuesday 7th February 2012 at RAF Brize Norton.

The plane is due to land at 2:00pm and the cortege will pass by the Memorial Garden at 4:00pm, arriving at the John Radcliffe Hospital at around 5:00pm.

Norton Way will be closed from approx 1.00pm, whilst Station Road, Brize Norton, will be closed for approximately 10 minutes once the cortege leaves Britannia Gate at RAF Brize Norton.

There will be road closures in place at the Marston Ferry Road / Cherwell Drive Junction, Marston Road / Cherwell Drive Junction, and by the mini roundabout by the entrance to the John Radcliffe Hospital on Headley Way. Please expect severe delays in this area whilst these road closures are in operation.

US Marine Lance Corporal Edward Dycus

22-year-old US Marine Lance Cpl. Edward J. Dycus, from Mississippi, was killed on 1st February 2012 in Helmand province.

L-Cpl Dycus served with the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

The US Department of Defense said the incident leading to his death was under investigation. However, according to various news reports, L-Cpl. Dycus was killed by an Afghan Army soldier who was guarding a joint operating base with him.

More to follow.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

US Marine Sergeant William Stacey

23-year-old US Marine Sergeant William C. Stacey, died on 31st January 2012 during combat operations in Helmand province. He served with the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, based at Camp Pendleton, California.

Sgt. Stacey joined the Marine Corps in January 2007. This was his second deployment to Afghanistan.

His personal awards include the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two bronze star devices, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with silver star device, and the NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan.