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2 US paratroopers killed in Afghanistan

Paratroopers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division unfurled their brigade colors during a ceremony to assume authority for operations in Afghanistan Friday, July 19th on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army/Released)
July 29, 2019

Two U.S. paratroopers were killed in Afghanistan on Monday.

The brief statement by NATO’s Resolute Support Mission didn’t include details of how the troops were killed or where in Afghanistan the incident occurred.

A post on Monday by Army Col. Arthur Sellers, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team 82nd Airborne Division (“The Panther Brigade”) confirmed that the two fallen troops were 3rd Brigade Paratroopers.

“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the loss of two Paratroopers from the Brigade during combat operations,” Sellers wrote. “When appropriate, further information will be shared through the Army’s and the Brigade’s official information channels.”

Sellers noted that it may take several days to notify the fallen troops’ next of kin. He warned against sharing any information or speculation out of respect for the families.

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“As you read this, Rear Detachment leaders are gathering resources and will make them available to the Paratroopers’ loved ones to help them in this most difficult time.  The expertise of every staff member of this brigade and in the 82nd Airborne Division will be utilized to ensure the Families of the fallen are taken care of,” Sellers wrote.

The 3rd Brigade Combat Team 82nd Airborne Division assumed authority of U.S. operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan in a ceremony on July 19, according to an update on the division’s website.

“The Panther paratroopers assumed responsibility for missions ranging from base security to developing the capacity of Afghan security forces in locations throughout the country from soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, headquartered at Fort Drum, New York,” the update noted.

The fallen troops are the second and third U.S. service member deaths in Afghanistan this month alone, and increases the year-to-date deaths in Afghanistan to 15, marking the deadliest year of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel since it began in 2015, as Military.com reported.

Two weeks earlier, an Army Special Forces soldier was killed by enemy fire during combat operations in Afghanistan’s Faryab Province.

Sgt. Maj. James G. “Ryan” Sartor had deployed seven times to Iraq and Afghanistan during his 18-year career as a Green Beret. He was a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Joint Service Commendation Medal.

The Army said Sartor would receive the Purple Heart and Bronze Star posthumously.