US Service Member Killed, 2 Injured in Afghan 'Vehicle Incident'

An Oshkosh Defense mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle All-Terrain Vehicle (MAT-V) bumps across ruts in the off-road portion of the master driver training course at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan on Nov. 8, 2017. Spc. Elizabeth White/Army
An Oshkosh Defense mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle All-Terrain Vehicle (MAT-V) bumps across ruts in the off-road portion of the master driver training course at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan on Nov. 8, 2017. Spc. Elizabeth White/Army

A U.S. service member was killed and two others were injured Monday in what was described as a "vehicle incident" in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, where numerous operations against an Islamic State offshoot have been conducted.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own," Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and the NATO Resolute Support mission, said in a statement.

"Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with the families and friends of our fallen and injured comrades," he said.

The deceased service member was identified as Staff Sgt. David Thomas Brabander, 24, of Anchorage, Alaska, according to a release from the Defense Department.

He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, according to the release.

The two injured service members are receiving medical treatment, but their conditions were not immediately described.

The death was the 16th of a U.S. service member in Afghanistan this year, compared to 14 in 2016, according to the website icasualties.org. Eleven of the deaths this year were in combat.

The statement by U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said, "The incident was not the result of enemy action," but gave no additional details.

In a briefing to the Pentagon from Kabul on other issues, Air Force Brig. Gen. Lance Bunch, director of future operations for Resolute Support, also said the death was not the result of combat. He said he was unaware of what type of vehicle was involved or what the mission was for those in the vehicle.

U.S. and partnered Afghan National Defense and Security Forces units have conducted several major operations in Nangarhar province against the offshoot of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] known as Islamic State-Khorasan Province, or IS-K.

In April, the U.S. carried out an airstrike in Nangarhar using the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal -- the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) -- which was meant to destroy an underground IS-K hideout.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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