U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Margaret Taylor
On Monday, the Department of Defense released the names of those killed in a June 10 insider attack in Peka Valley, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan: Army Sgt. Eric M. Houck, 25, of Baltimore, Maryland; Army Sgt. William M. Bays, 29 of Barstow, California; and Army Cpl. Dillon C. Baldridge, 22 of Youngsville, North Carolina.
The soldiers were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Company D, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The three troops died of gunshots wounds which the Taliban later claimed responsibility for. Afghan officials identified the shooter as an Afghan commando, who turned on the U.S. troops and opened fire. The shooter was killed by return fire. A fourth U.S. soldier was also wounded and transported out of Afghanistan, according to the Associated Press.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of our Soldiers who were killed and wounded," Gen. John W. Nicholson, Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan said in a statement. "We will always remember our fallen comrades and remain committed to the mission they carried out and for which they ultimately gave their lives."
Though the insider attack was reportedly carried out by the Taliban, the service members killed were involved in operations against ISIS-K in Nangarhar province, a volatile region. Earlier today a convoy carrying Afghan and U.S. military personnel came under attack in the province.
"We can confirm that a convoy was struck by a roadside bomb and attacked with small arms fire in Nangarhar province,” U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said in a statement Monday. “The convoy returned fire in self-defense and there were no U.S. casualties."
Three other U.S. troops have been killed while involved in operations against the Islamic State in Afghanistan this year, and according to the New York Times, all six combat deaths in 2017 have been from those involved in operations against ISIS-K.
An offshoot of the Islamic State, ISIS-K, has established a foothold in Nangarhar province’s Achin District, where the U.S. military dropped the GBU-43/B, or the “Mother of All Bombs,” just days after the first U.S. service member was killed in April.
President Donald Trump announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has since made a strong push to keep a small residual force along the Turkish border along with troops from European allies.
The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.
"We were being used as pawns in a public fight between him and the current Prime Minister of Haiti," said Chris Osman, 44, in a post on Instagram Friday. "We were not released we were in fact rescued."
It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.
Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.
The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.
MAPLE, N.C. -- A maritime center with a pool big enough to hold a small ship and simulate hurricane conditions is set to open in Currituck County, North Carolina, in two years. It will serve to train groups such as special forces, law enforcement and offshore wind crews.