DoD Identifies US Service Member Killed In Somalia

Bullet Points

The Department of Defense on Saturday identified the American service member killed during a June 8 mission in Somalia against terror group Al-Shabaab as 26-year-old Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Conrad of Chandler, Arizona


  • Conrad, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was killed by indirect enemy fire on June 8th when U.S. service members deployed alongside some 800 Somali and Kenyan troops southwest of Mogadishu came under small arms and mortar fire.

Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Conrad, 26, of Chandler, Arizona, died June 8, in Somalia of injuries
sustained from enemy indirect fire. The incident is under investigation.Department of Defense photo

  • The attack came one week after the Pentagon killed 27 Al-Shabab fighters in a lone airstrike in northwest Somalia in what officials characterized to Task & Purpose as the deadliest single U.S. airstrike in the country to date.
  • Conrad belonged to the same Green Beret unit that lost four service members during the October 2017 ambush in Niger, after which U.S. Africa Command chief Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser pledged "increased the firepower ... increased ISR intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] capacity ... [and] increased various response times."

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For some, tax season brings a small boon in the form of a refund. For others it can be a source of stress.

But Theresa Jones sees it as an annual reminder of her husband, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Landon Jones, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Sept. 22, 2013.

Since then, Jones and her two sons, ages 5 and 11, have received monthly compensation in the form of survivor benefits — one allotment through the Department of Defense is taxable, and another through the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is not taxed.

For the past several years she's had to pay roughly $1,150 in taxes on her sons' benefits. This year, it was $5,400.

"My kids are owing the government back money, that the government gave them, because their dad died, and my kids have to pay it back," Jones told Task & Purpose. "And every year this comes around and it's just this reminder of this tragedy, and it's literally like throwing salt in the wound."

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Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Army says it will meet its readiness goals by 2022, but young sergeants in most infantry and close-combat units don't know how to maneuver their squads or do basic land navigation, Military.com has learned.

For example, sergeants in the majority of the Army's active brigade combat teams (BCTs) don't know the importance of gaining a foothold when leading squads on room-clearing operations, according to a series of report cards from the service's Asymmetric Warfare Group, known as the AWG.

The findings come at a time when the Army is racing to transition from the counter-insurgency mindset that existed in Iraq and Afghanistan to one focused on preparing combat units to fight in large-scale, conventional battles against a foe of equal strength.

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With two U.S. aircraft carriers operating in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time since 2016, it would be hard for Russia to miss the intended message.

But to hammer the point home, U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman visited the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on Tuesday, according to a 6th Fleet news release.

"Each of the carriers operating in the Mediterranean at this time represent 100,000 tons of international diplomacy," Huntsman said in the news release. "Diplomatic communication and dialogue coupled with the strong defense these ships provide demonstrate to Russia that if it truly seeks better relations with the United States, it must cease its destabilizing activities around the world."

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