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'Friendly Fire' Possible Cause Of Ranger Deaths In Afghanistan, DoD Says
The Pentagon on Friday announced a 15-6 investigation into the deaths of two Army Rangers killed in a firefight with ISIS forces in Afghanistan on April 27, citing a possible "friendly fire" incident.
The two Rangers were killed in eastern Nangarhar province, near the same area the U.S. Air Force dropped the 21,600-pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb on April 13.
According to Army Times, the Rangers had partnered with local Afghan security forces for a crucial raid as part of a larger campaign to root out and neutralize pockets of ISIS fighters throughout the region.
"In the beginning of what was an intense three-hour firefight, it is possible these Rangers were struck by friendly fire," Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said.
U.S. Forces Afghanistan also released a detailed statement describing the circumstances of the firefight and lauding both the Rangers and Afghan Special Security Forces for their "exemplary" performance:
Within a few minutes of landing, our combined force came under intense fire from multiple directions and well-prepared fighting positions. Nevertheless, our forces successfully closed on the enemy, killed several high-level ISIS-K leaders and upwards of 35 fighters. If confirmed, the death of the Emir and his associated will significantly degrade ISIS-K operations in Afghanistan and help reach our goal of destroying them in 2017.
Based on our reports from forces on the ground, the engagement was close-quarters from multiple compounds. Air strikes were used in self-defense to enable our operations and to medically evacuate the wounded Rangers. We do not have any indication there were civilian casualties as a result of this operation.
The Rangers killed were identified by the Pentagon as Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers, 22, and Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas, 23. Both soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment out of Fort Benning, Georgia.
The Air Force's top general says one of the designers of the ride-sharing app Uber is helping the branch build a new data-sharing network that the Air Force hopes will help service branches work together to detect and destroy targets.
The network, which the Air Force is calling the advanced battle management system (ABMS), would function a bit like the artificial intelligence construct Cortana from Halo, who identifies enemy ships and the nearest assets to destroy them at machine speed, so all the fleshy humans need to do is give a nod of approval before resuming their pipe-smoking.
An F-15 is rocking a WWII paint job to honor a B-17 pilot who gave his life to save a wounded crewman
An F-15C Eagle is sporting a badass World War II-era paint job in honor of a fallen bomber pilot who gave everything to ensure his men survived a deadly battle.
A U.S. E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft crashed on Monday on Afghanistan, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has confirmed.
Beloved basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Two days earlier, Army Spc. Antonio I. Moore was killed during a vehicle rollover accident while conducting route clearing operations in Syria.
Which one more deserves your grief and mourning? According to Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, you only have enough energy for one.
After 70 years, service members are finally filing medical malpractice claims against the US military
Jessica Purcell, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, was pregnant with her first child when she noticed a swollen lymph node in her left underarm.
Health-care providers at a MacDill Air Force Base clinic told her it was likely an infection or something related to pregnancy hormones. The following year they determined the issue had resolved itself.
It hadn't. A doctor off base found a large mass in her underarm and gave her a shocking diagnosis: stage 2 breast cancer.
Purcell was pregnant again. Her daughter had just turned 1. She was 35. And she had no right to sue for malpractice.
A 1950 Supreme Court ruling known as the Feres doctrine prohibits military members like Purcell from filing a lawsuit against the federal government for any injuries suffered while on active duty. That includes injury in combat, but also rape and medical malpractice, such as missing a cancer diagnosis.
Thanks in part to Tampa lawyer Natalie Khawam, a provision in this year's national defense budget allows those in active duty to file medical malpractice claims against the government for the first time since the Feres case.
With the Department of Defense overseeing the new claims process, the question now is how fairly and timely complaints will be judged. And whether, in the long run, this new move will help growing efforts to overturn the ruling and allow active duty members to sue like everyone else.