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Pentagon identifies US Army paratrooper killed in Taliban car bombing

Sgt. 1st Class Elis Angel Barreto Ortiz of Morovis, Puerto Rico, was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sept. 5, 2019. (U.S. Army/Released)
September 06, 2019

The Pentagon identified the U.S. service member killed in Afghanistan on Thursday as a U.S. Army paratrooper.

Sgt. 1st Class Elis Angel Barreto Ortiz of Morovis, Puerto Rico, was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sept. 5 as a result of a “vehicle borne improvised explosive device,” 82nd Airborne Division spokesman Lt. Col Mike Burns confirmed in an email to American Military News.

Barreto was a Maintenance Control Sergeant with Company H, 82nd Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

He had enlisted in the Army in 2010 and graduated from Airborne School in 2017.

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He was initially assigned to the 359th Transportation Battalion, then the 51st Composite Truck Company at Baumholder, Germany in 2013, the 601st Aviation Support Battalion at Fort Riley, Kansas in 2016, and had been assigned to the 82nd BSB in 2018.

“His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Good Conduct Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Combat Action Badge, the Basic Parachutist Badge, the Army Driver and Mechanic Badge,” the press release noted.

Barreto is survived by a wife and children.

“With honor and courage, Sgt. 1st Class Barreto answered our nation’s call to deploy and serve in Afghanistan,” said Col. Arthur Sellers, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. “In this most difficult time, his loved ones are now surrounded by a community of love and caring by members of our Paratrooper Family Readiness Group.”

The fatal incident is under investigation after the Taliban claimed responsibility for the car bomb that detonated at a checkpoint near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul that killed 10 and injured 42 more.

Barreto was part of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission conducting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. This year has been the mission’s deadliest year since it launched in 2014.

Last week, the Pentagon confirmed the Aug. 29 death of Army Sgt. 1st Class Dustin B. Ard, 31, from Hyde Park, Utah, who died in combat in the Zabul province. Ard was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

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On Aug. 21, two Green Berets were killed by small arms fire in Faryab Province, Afghanistan.

The two Green Berets, Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, of Chicopee, Mass., and Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, of La Puente, Calif., were identified and posthumously promoted to Master Sergent, according to a Pentagon press release.