Monday, April 30, 2012

Georgian Army Sergeant Valerian Khujadze

Republic of Georgia Army Sergeant Valerian Khujadze was killed on 25th April 2012 during a patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He died from injuries received when a bomb exploded beside him.

Born in August 1976, Sergeant Khujadze had served in the Georgian Army since 2004. He deployed to Afghanistan with the 31st Infantry Battalion and had previously served in Iraq. In 2011, he was awarded the "Medal for Participation in Peacekeeping Operations".

Sunday, April 29, 2012

British Grenadier Guardsman Michael Roland

British Army Guardsman Michael Roland from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was killed in Helmand province on Friday 27th April 2012. He deployed to Afghanistan on 3rd April.

On 26th April, Guardsman Roland deployed with his company on a three-day operation to disrupt insurgent activity in an area north of Nahr-e Saraj. On the morning of 27th April he was fatally wounded during an exchange of small arms fire. He was extracted back to the hospital in Camp Bastion but sadly he died of his injuries.

23-year-old Guardsman Roland was born in Worthing. After completing his infantry training in November 2009, he moved to Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards, in London. He spent a year conducting public duties at the royal palaces and participating in state ceremonial tasks.

Guardsman Roland joined the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in November 2010 and was placed in the Queen's Company. His first year in the battalion included field training in the UK and an exercise in Canada. From September 2011 he undertook six months of preparatory training for his first tour of Afghanistan.

Lieutenant Colonel James Bowder, Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said of Guardsman Roland: "Sparky, diligent and super-fit, he was a terrific soldier with a bright future. That he achieved so much in his short life is testament to his drive and ambition. He was an absolute pleasure to command and will be missed hugely by the battalion and the regimental family as a whole."

Lance Corporal Clarke, Fire Team Commander, the Queen's Company, said: "Mike was a caring bloke. He had so many ambitions. He took part in so many activities and was always up for a good laugh and a fair few beers with the boys. He was never afraid to lead the way, and we had a lot of good times together."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

US Contractor Capt. Billy Ross Blankenship dies in Kabul

American contractor, Captain Billy Ross Blankenship, from Oklahoma, died in Afghanistan on 18th April 2012. 43-year-old Blankenship was working in Kabul as a contractor for Intelligence Software Solutions Inc. His cause of death is under investigation.

He joined the US Air Force Reserve while at High School and enlisted with the Army in 1989, during which time he served in Iraq. After four years of active duty, Blankenship served in the Oklahoma National Guard and was commissioned in 2001. He was mobilized for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003 and served until 2010.

Friday, April 20, 2012

British Army Sapper Connor Ray

21-year-old British Army Sapper Connor Ray, from 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on 18th April 2012 after being seriously injured on 11th April. He was injured during a search and clearance operation in the Nad 'Ali district of central Helmand when a hidden bomb exploded.

Sapper Ray, from Newport, joined the Army in January 2008 and joined the Corps of Royal Engineers in June 2009. He joined 49 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), in April 2010, where he trained as an Advanced Searcher. During his time in Afghanistan, Sapper Ray and his team successfully conducted a number of high risk searches that undoubtedly saved numerous British and Afghan lives.

Describing Sapper Ray as "A very professional soldier," Lieutenant Colonel Simon Bell, Commanding Officer of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), said: "An extremely positive and determined young soldier, Sapper Ray was a real team player. Amiable and upbeat, he had a natural ability to encourage and inspire others with his limitless optimism. He would often be found in the gym, working hard to maintain his fitness, whilst setting an excellent example to those less motivated."

Sapper Ray's family said this about him: "In heaven with his mum now, we will always remember his love of life, his sense of humour and cherish the short time he had to touch our lives."

He leaves behind his brother Vinnie, stepfather Steve, sisters Hollie and Bonnie, Aunty Eileen, and girlfriend Hollie.

Monday, April 9, 2012

British Army Corporal Jack Stanley

26-year-old British Army Corporal Jack Leslie Stanley, of the Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish), died in hospital in Birmingham on 8th April 2012 from wounds he received in Afghanistan when he was caught in a bomb blast while on patrol in Lashkar Gah in February.

Corporal Stanley joined the Army in January 2003 and on completion of basic training joined The Queen's Royal Hussars in December 2003. He deployed to Iraq in 2006. On his return from Iraq he was put into Reconnaissance Troop, where he excelled. Such was his talent for soldiering, he remained in Reconnaissance Troop, including a second deployment to Iraq. He deployed to Afghanistan in October last year.

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Mortimer, Commanding Officer, The Queen's Royal Hussars Battle Group said: "Corporal Jack 'Stan' Stanley joined The Queen's Royal Hussars in December 2003. Right from the beginning he made a huge impression. Such was his ability and flair for soldiering he was quickly singled out to join the Regiment's Reconnaissance Troop where he excelled. He was gravely injured on operations here in Afghanistan and has tragically succumbed to his wounds. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this most difficult and tragic time. We will remember him."

Lieutenant Fergus Macdiarmid, 1 Platoon Commander, C (Coriano) Company, said: "Corporal Jack Stanley was a true character within the platoon and a pleasure both to serve with and command. He set the bar high and was an example to all, idolised by younger members of the platoon and respected by those he served alongside."

He leaves behind his mother, Brenda, his father, Tom, his sister Rachael, and his girlfriend Sarah.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

US Marine Corporal Alex Martinez

21-year-old US Marine Corporal Alex Martinez died on 5th April 2012 in Helmand province during combat operations in the region.

Cpl. Martinez, from Elgin, Illinois, served with the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, based at Camp Pendleton, California. He joined the Marine Corps after graduating from Larkin High School in January 2009. The previous month, he married his high school sweetheart Julianna. The couple moved to California in January.

He deployed to Afghanistan in February this year on his second combat tour to the country. His sister told news reporters that Cpl. Martinez wanted to join the police or fire service when he left the Marine Corps.

More information to follow.

US Paratroop Specialist Jeffrey L. White, Jr

21-year-old US Paratroop Spc. Jeffrey L. White, Jr was killed by a bomb blast in Khost province on 3rd April 2012. Five other soldiers were injured in the explosion.

Spc. White served with the Alaska-based 1st Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), of the 25th Infantry Division. He joined the Army in October 2009, arrived in Alaska in 2010 and deployed to Afghanistan last year. This was first combat deployment.

More information to follow.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

US Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Brown

US Army Staff Sgt. Christopher L. Brown was killed in Kunar province on 3rd April 2012 from a bomb explosion while he was conducting a foot patrol.

26-year-old SSgt. Brown, from Columbus, Ohio, was serving with the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Carson, Colorado.

More information to follow.

US Marine Corporal Christopher Bordoni

21-year-old US Marine Corporal Christopher D. Bordoni, who was critically injured in Helmand province in January, died in the San Antonio Military Medical Center on 3rd April 2012. His wife, mother, father, brother and sister were by his side when he died.

Cpl. Bordoni served with the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. During a patrol on 18th January, a suicide bomber drove a motorcycle at his unit. He was on his second deployment to Afghanistan and had been in the country since April 2011.

More information to follow.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

US Military fatalities - March 2012

The following is a list of known United States Military fatalities in Afghanistan - March 2012:

Date Name Rank Age Unit

31-Mar Dutton, James E. Spc. 25 125th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored
30-Mar Cazarez, Roberto Corporal 24 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Btn, USMC
29-Mar Taylor, David W. Spc. 20 82nd Airborne Division
29-Mar Davis, Johnathon F. Pfc. 20 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment
28-Mar Imlay, Francis D. Captain 31 391st Fighter Squadron, USAF
27-Mar D'Augustine, Joseph Sergeant 29 8th Engineer Support, 2nd Marine Logistics
26-Mar Wilson, William R. Sergeant 27 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment
24-Mar Istre, Aaron D. Captain 37 HHC, 13th Sustainment Command
24-Mar Brown, Daniel J. Sergeant 27 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment
22-Mar Weichel Jr., Dennis P. Spc. 29 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment
21-Mar Jarboe, Jamie Sergeant 27 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment
15-Mar Ray, Clovis T. 2nd Lt. 34 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment
14-Mar Rivers, Daquane D. Spc. 21 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment
12-Mar Grindey, Jesse J. Staff Sgt. 30 89th Military Police Brigade
05-Mar Acosta, Edward J. Spc. 21 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment
01-Mar Bear, Jordan L. Staff Sgt. 25 82nd Airborne Division
01-Mar Jones, Payton A. Pfc. 19 82nd Airborne Division
01-Mar Lowry, Conner T. Corporal 24 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

US Marine Corporal Michael Palacio

23-year-old US Marine Corporal Michael J. Palacio, died in Helmand province on 29th March 2012 during combat operations in Afghanistan.

Cpl. Palacio, from Lake Elsinore, California, served with Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, based at Okinawa, Japan.

More information to follow.

New Zealand Infantry Corporal Douglas Hughes

26-year-old Corporal Douglas Hughes, serving with the 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, died on 3rd April 2012 Forward Patrol Base Romeo in Bamiyan province. The cause of his death is currently being investigated.

Corporal Hughes, a Maori, had been with the NZ Defence Force for eight years. This was his second deployment to Afghanistan and was due to return home later this month. He had previously served in the Solomon Islands.

His family said in a a statement that "He was a talented sportsman with a good sense of humour who lived for his career in the Army. He will be sadly missed by his loving whanau."

Corporal Hughes leaves behind his parents, one brother and sisters. He was not married and had no children.

New Zealand soldier dies in Bamiyan province

New Zealand soldier, Corporal Douglas Hughes, with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team, has died in Afghanistan from non-combat injuries.

A statement from the Defence Force said the soldier died as a result of an "incident" at the Forward Patrol Base Romero in the north-eastern Bamiyan province at 11am (NZT). The soldier died later in hospital.

Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones said: "We are saddened by this loss and, on behalf of the entire New Zealand Defence Force, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, colleagues and friends of the soldier."

New Zealand Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said the death "did not appear to involve the actions of another party."

The circumstances surrounding the death are being investigated.

Monday, April 2, 2012

US Army Spc. James Dutton

US Army Spc. James E. Dutton, from Checotah, Oklahoma, died on 31st March 2012 in Logar province, Afghanistan.

25-year-old Spc. Dutton served with the 125th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, based at Fort Bliss, Texas. The circumstances surrounding his death have not yet been released.

According to Dutton's Facebook page, he is married to Ellen Marie Dutton who also serves in the US Army. They frequently exchanged messages with each other on site. In one message to Ellen, he posted a quote by Winnie the Pooh: "If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus one day, so I never have to be without you," the quote reads.

Spc. Dutton leaves his wife Ellen, his parents James K. Dutton and Trina Dutton, and his sister, Roxanne Gibson.