Military.com

US Service Member Killed in Eastern Afghanistan, Pentagon Says

A team of infantry Marines with 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, crosses a field during a security patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in 2014. Cpl. Cody Haas/Marine Corps
A team of infantry Marines with 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, crosses a field during a security patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in 2014. Cpl. Cody Haas/Marine Corps

Updated at 5:01 p.m. Eastern

A U.S. service member was killed Wednesday during operations in Afghanistan, the Defense Department announced.

The service member, who wasn't identified, "died as a result of wounds suffered," and an unspecified number of U.S. and Afghan forces were also injured during the operation in the eastern part of the country, according to a statement from U.S. Forces-Afghanistan in Kabul.

The wounded personnel were medically evacuated from the scene for treatment, it states. Officials are working to notify the fallen service member's family.

The death marks the 11th U.S. service member to die in Afghanistan so far this year, according to statistics compiled by icasualties.org.

Two weeks ago, two soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division -- Spc. Christopher Harris, 25, of Jackson Springs, N.C., and Sgt. Jonathon Hunter, 23, of Columbus, Ind. -- were killed when the convoy they were riding in was struck by a car bomb.

The U.S. military currently has more than 8,000 service members in Afghanistan and more than 23,500 contractors, including nearly 1,700 armed contractors, according to a July report from U.S. Central Command.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had pledged to deliver a new strategy for Afghanistan by mid-July that would rely on increased air power and would also address the long-standing request of Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and the NATO Resolute Support Mission, for an additional 3,000 to 5,000 troops.

However, the Mattis plan has been held up as the White House reviews the entire Afghanistan mission amid reports that top advisers to Trump have been recommending a scaled-down U.S. operation -- one that could possibly include a proposal by businessman and former Navy SEAL Erik Prince to replace troops in the country with private security contractors.

-- Richard Sisk and Oriana Pawlyk contributed to this report.

-- Brendan McGarry can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.

Show Full Article