'Friendly Fire' Possible Cause Of Ranger Deaths In Afghanistan, DoD Says

news
Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers, 22, of Bloomington, Illinois, and Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas, 23, of Kettering, Ohio.
Photo via DoD

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.

[embed][/embed]

[embed][/embed]

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.

A soldier has died after a training accident in South Korea, during which a Bradley Fighting Vehicle he was in overturned.

According to a press release from the 2nd Infantry Division, 20-year-old Spc. Nicholas C. Panipinto died on Nov. 6 from injuries sustained during the accident at Camp Humphreys. Stars and Stripes reports that two other soldiers were injured in the accident.

Read More Show Less

A search is ongoing for a Camp Lejeune Marine who is wanted in Virginia on a murder charge.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office in Rocky Mount, Virginia, said Monday they have issued an arrest warrant for Michael Alexander Brown, 22, for second-degree murder as well as use of a firearm in commission of a felony in connection with a Nov. 9 homicide.

Read More Show Less

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

The Marine Corps may one day launch crawling unmanned robots from ships to clear paths through deadly minefields for approaching assault troops to come ashore.

Read More Show Less
Jennifer Nagy (Courtesy photo)

Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Lowe's committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Lowe's is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.

As a military-friendly employer, Lowe's has prioritized hiring military members, veterans, and military spouses while finding value in what they bring to the table. As Jennifer Nagy puts it, Lowe's is working hard to prove it deserves this title.

Read More Show Less
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman (U.S. Army photo(

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman should not fear retaliation over his testimony to the U.S. Congress in its impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday.

Vindman, now detailed to the White House National Security Council, has been targeted by Trump following his Oct. 29 congressional testimony. Trump tweeted that Vindman was a "Never Trumper witness," raising questions about potential fallout on his military career.

"He shouldn't have any fear of retaliation," Esper told a small group of reporters during a flight to New York, adding that he had reinforced the "no retaliation" message in a conversation with the secretary of the Army.

Read More Show Less