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DoD Identifies 19-Year-Old Army Private Killed In Helmand
The Department of Defense has identified an American service member killed by indirect fire in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province on July 3 as 19-year-old Army Pfc. Hansen B. Kirkpatrick of Wasilla, Alaska.
Kirkpatrick was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, which deployed out of Fort Bliss, Texas earlier this year as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, the U.S.-led training and advising mission in Afghanistan. The DoD did not immediately provide any further details of the soldier’s death, stating that the “incident is under investigation.”
Kirkpatrick appears to be the first American service member killed in action in Helmand in 2017. Once the country’s deadliest province for U.S. forces, Helmand is now the scene of heavy fighting between Afghan national security forces and a resurgent Taliban, which has captured huge swaths of the region since the NATO combat mission in the country officially ended in late 2014.
About 300 U.S. Marines have been deployed to Helmand as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel since April, a relatively tiny number compared to the more than 20,000 who were stationed in the province at the height of the war under President Obama. Last month, an additional 1,500 Army soldiers rotated into Afghanistan to support the advise and assist mission across the country, but were not part of a plan to increase the number of troops in the country.
A longtime critic of the Afghan War, President Donald Trump recently handed over authority to determine troop levels in the country to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who favors increasing the number of boots on the ground by several thousand. The Trump administration has yet to deliver a finalized strategy for turning the 16-year war around, but Mattis has promised one by mid-July.
“We are not winning in Afghanistan right now, and we will correct this as soon as possible,” Mattis told lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee on June 14.
There are currently about 6,700 American service members training and advising Afghan forces — several hundred of them outside Afghanistan — while an additional 2,100 are deployed as part of a counterterrorism mission focused on uprooting a local ISIS affiliate in the eastern part of the country.
Kirkpatrick’s death brings the total number of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan for this year to seven. The other six were killed while involved in the fight against ISIS. According to the DoD, 40 Americans — including two DoD civilians — have been died in Afghanistan since Operation Freedom’s Sentinel began in January 2015. 27 of them were killed in action.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.
Trump claims border wall is under construction 'right now' using fence repair footage from 5 months ago
With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.
On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"
But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.
Group of American vets detained in Haiti on weapons charges brought back to US, arrested upon landing
A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.
The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.
The Army allegedly missed this soldier's stomach cancer for 4 years. His widow wants someone to answer for it
The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.
Hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War have repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital
In an uh-oh episode of historic proportions, hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War recently and repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital city.
Wait – they had hand grenades in the Revolutionary War? Indeed. Hollow iron balls, filled with black powder, outfitted with a fuse, then lit and thrown.
And more than two dozen have been sitting in cardboard boxes at the Department of Historic Resources, undetected for 30 years.