Private 2nd Class Caleb Smither, of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, died on Jan. 21, 2020. (Army photo.)

Army officials are investigating the Jan. 21 death of a 19-year-old paratrooper at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, according to the 82nd Airborne Division.

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Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon and Staff Sgt. Ian Paul McLaughlin were killed on Jan. 11 in Kandahar Province. (Photos courtesy of the 82nd Airborne Division)

Two Fort Bragg paratroopers killed in Afghanistan this month are being remembered for their leadership and dedication.

Staff Sgt. Ian Paul McLaughlin of Newport News, Virginia, and Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon of Joliet, Illinois, were killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device. They were both assigned to Company B, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division.

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The remains of Army Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin arrived back to Fort Bragg a week after he was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army)

After the plane landed, Pope Army Airfield was silent on Saturday.

A chaplain prayed and a family member sobbed.

Tarah McLaughlin's fingers traced her husband's flag-draped coffin before she pressed two fingers to her lips then pressed her fingers to the coffin.

The remains of Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin, 29, of Newport News, Virginia, arrived back to Fort Bragg a week after he was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon, 21, of Joliet, Illinois, also was killed in the same incident.

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Green Berets assigned to 3rd Special Group (Airborne) prepare an exfiltration on August 15, 2019, near Hurlburt Field, FL (Army photo / Spc. Peter Seidler)

A fifth soldier in a case that dates to 2009 has pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and receiving stolen government property, officials said Monday.

William Todd Chamberlain, 46, of Raleigh, faces a combined maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release; a $500,000 fine; mandatory restitution; and forfeiture of $40,000, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

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U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, prepare for departure for the Middle East from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, U.S. January 5, 2020. (REUTERS/Bryan Woolston)

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Reuters) - For many of the soldiers, it would be their first mission. They packed up ammunition and rifles, placed last-minute calls to loved ones, then turned in their cell phones. Some gave blood.

The 600 mostly young soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, were headed for the Middle East, part of a group of some 3,500 U.S. paratroopers ordered to the region. Kuwait is the first stop for many. Their final destinations are classified.

"We're going to war, bro," one cheered, holding two thumbs up and sporting a grin under close-shorn red hair. He stood among dozens of soldiers loading trucks outside a cinder block building housing several auditoriums with long benches and tables.

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U.S. Army Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division arrive at Ali AlSalem Air Base, Kuwait, Jan. 2, 2020. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

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

Early Wednesday morning, Army paratroopers in Operational Camouflage Pattern uniforms and body armor loaded planes wearing weapons, such as M4A1 carbines, slung securely across their chests. Some carried overstuffed airborne rucksacks while old-timers shouldered customized versions of the Army's Vietnam-era ALICE packs.

They were ordered to the Middle East on short notice in response to efforts by Iran-backed militia members to breach the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The deployment also served as the debut of a revamped crisis response capability.

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