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Jun-18-2008 20:20printcomments

Navy and Marine Casualties Surge in Afghanistan

Most casualties in Iraq have been from the U.S. Army, but in Afghanistan six Marines and sailors have died in four days.

Salem-News.com
Salem-News.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - A number of Marines and sailors have been killed in Afghanistan in recent days, demonstrating a true shift away from the traditionally larger number of casualties reported in Iraq.

The Department of Defense this week announced the names of four Marines who were killed in combat while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

They are Marine Sergeant Michael Toussiant-Hyle Washington, 20 years old, of Tacoma, Washington

Lance Corporal Layton Bradly Crass, 22, of Richmond, Indiana

Private first class Dawid Pietrek, 24, of Bensenville, Illinois

Private first class Michael Robert Patton, 19, of Fenton, Missouri All four Marines died June 14th while supporting combat operations in Farah Province, Afghanistan.

The DoD says they were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, California.

The Farah Province is a spacious and sparsely populated province that lies on the Iranian border. According to Wikipedia, "Despite having a majority-Pashtun population, Farah has not seen much fighting since the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, and is peaceful, relative to many parts of the country." However, mountainous Eastern Farah has seen at least one US offensive against Taliban forces. It seems likely that we will see more reports out of Farah as it is located near two other provinces that have been the scene of much fighting in recent years.

Navy Casualties

Today, the government announced Navy casualties out of Afghanistan. Two sailors were killed supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

They are identified as: Hospitalman Marc A. Retmier, 19, of Hemet, Californiz

Petty Officer First Class Ross L. Toles III, 37, of Davison, Michigan.

They died June 18th as a result of wounds suffered from an enemy rocket attack in northern Paktika province, Afghanistan.

The Navy sailors were assigned to the Provincial Reconstruction Team Sharana in Afghanistan. Wikipedia describes this as one of the most remote provinces in Afghanistan, and in an area that saw much devastation in previous years, Paktika suffers from a severe lack of critical infrastructure. Reconstruction in the province after the fall of the Taliban has been slow in comparison to that in nearby provinces such as Khost and Zabul. It was the scene of a civil affairs convoy ambush in November 2004 that included many casualties. Sharona is bitter cold in the winter.

Anyone who wants to know more about this part of Afghanistan should visit these reports that I filed from that region in 2006 and 2007:

A Cold Journey Through the Afghanistan High Country to a Castle for Christmas

White Out Conditions Complicate Journey in Afghanistan`s High Country (VIDEO)




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Tim King June 25, 2008 8:33 pm (Pacific time)

 The casualties in Afghanistan continue to mount and several more military casualties were reported today by the Department of Defense.  They were all killed supporting the mission known as Operation Enduring Freedom.

 
U.S. Army Spc. Ryan J. Connolly, 24, of Vacaville, Calif., died June 24 in Khogyani, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his vehicle struck a suspected landmine.  He was assigned to the 173rd Special Troops Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Bamberg, Germany.

This information arrived at Salem-News.com 6-24-08:

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of four soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.  They died June 21 in Kandahar City, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when their vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device and small arms fire.

Killed were:

Lt. Col. James J. Walton, 41, of Rockville, Md., who was assigned to a Military Transition Team, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

Spc. Anthony L. Mangano, 36, of Greenlawn, N.Y., who was assigned to 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry (Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition), New York Army National Guard, Geneva, N.Y.

Sgt. Nelson D. Rodriguez Ramirez, 22, of Revere, Mass., who was assigned to 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry (Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition), New York Army National Guard, Geneva, N.Y.

Sgt. Andrew Seabrooks, 36, of Queens, N.Y., who was assigned to 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry (Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition), New York Army National Guard, Geneva, N.Y.


Henry Ruark June 23, 2008 7:21 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Perhaps (!?!) it's only coincidence that today was when Pentagon released new report stating violence in Iraq was lower...


Tim King June 23, 2008 12:56 pm (Pacific time)


This arrived at Salem-News.com June 23rd:  The Department of Defense announced the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. Matthew E. Mendoza, 24, of San Antonio, Texas, died June 20 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.


Tim King June 22, 2008 6:38 pm (Pacific time)

 This arrived Sunday, June 22nd 2008, also out of Afghanistan:

The Department of Defense announced today the death a sailor supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Hospitalman Dustin Kelby Burnett, 19, of Fort Mohave, Ariz., was assigned to First Marine Division Detachment, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

He died June 20 while conducting combat operations in Farah Province, Afghanistan.


Tim King June 20, 2008 6:38 pm (Pacific time)

This just came in today, the day after I published this story.

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two Marines who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Capt. Eric Daniel Terhune, 34, of Lexington, Kentucky


Lance Cpl. Andrew Francis Whitacre, 21, of Bryant, Indiana


Both Marines died June 19th while conducting combat operations in Farah Province, Afghanistan. They were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

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