A soldier killed in an apparent insider attack Saturday was part of one of the newly created security force assistance brigades tasked with advising Afghan troops.
Cpl. Joseph Maciel, 20, of South Gate, California, was killed in Tarin Kowt district, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan in the apparent attack, Army officials said Sunday. Two other soldiers who have not been identified were wounded in the same incident.
Maciel, an infantryman, was assigned to 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division out of Fort Benning, Georgia, and was deployed to Afghanistan with the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, officials said.
According to officials with the 3rd Infantry Division, Maciel had been in the Army for two years and had served in Afghanistan since February.
His awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Achievement Medal, and Afghanistan Campaign Medal, officials said.
"Cpl. Maciel was an excellent soldier beloved by his teammates and dedicated to our mission. He will be greatly missed by the entire Black Lion family. Our prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time," Lt. Col. David Conner, Maciel's battalion commander, said in a statement.
In the last two years, the Army has been designing and training a handful of SFABs to take over advise-assist missions, training partner forces throughout the globe.
The circumstances of the apparent insider attack have not been disclosed. Pentagon officials say the deadly incident remains under investigation.
Just days ago, a Pentagon report indicated that 1st SFAB was making progress in Afghanistan and increasing the effectiveness of the Afghan National Security Forces the soldiers advised.
Insider attacks, in which a member of the ANSF turns on a U.S. service member, have claimed American lives every year since 2008. This appears to be the first deadly insider attack in 2018.
-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.