[UPDATE] U.S. Special Forces Personnel Killed in Afghan Crash Named

By: CNN Email
By: CNN Email

[UPDATE] 8-11 11am -

DOD Identifies Service Members Killed In CH-47 Crash

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of 30 servicemembers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died Aug. 6 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed.

The following sailors assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:

Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, La.,

Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, Calif.,

Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Ark.,

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, Conn.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis, Minn.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Mass.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City, Mo.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas,

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30, of Washington, W.Va.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, La.,

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit, Mich.,

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, Calif.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, N.C.,

Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, Utah,

Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Neb.,

Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia, Pa.,

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, of Rockford, Iowa,

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart, Fla., and

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah.

The following sailors assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, 27, of Ukiah, Calif., and

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, ofSaint Paul, Minn.

The soldiers killed were:

Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colo. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Aurora, Colo.;

Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.;

Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Grand Island, Neb.;

Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Wash. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.; and

Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.

The airmen killed were:

Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Fla.;

Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, Calif.; and

Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pa.

All three airmen were assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, N.C.


[UPDATE] Kabul, Afghanistan

A total of 38 people were killed in the helicopter crash in Afghanistan on August 6, including 22 U.S. Navy SEALS, 5 U.S. Army air crewmen, three U.S. Air Force airmen and 8 Afghans.

Here is a partial list of American servicemen killed Saturday in the crash. (The Department of Defense has not released the names yet)

Aaron Carson Vaughn, SEAL Team 6, from Tennessee (AP)

Jon Tumlinson, SEAL, from Iowa (AP)

John Brown, SEAL, from Siloam Springs, Ark. (AP)

Debris remains at the site where a US helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan, killing 38 people. (11 August)


Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) --

Most of those killed when a Chinook helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan overnight were U.S. Navy SEALS, two U.S. government officials said, citing first reports.

"It's a big loss" for the SEALS," an official said. "The numbers are high."

"It is believed that about two dozen Special Operations Forces, including some from other services, were on board the aircraft, in addition to the Army crew flying the craft."

If the numbers are confirmed, the incident would be the most deadly for coalition forces in the Afghan war, according to a CNN count of international troop deaths.

The forces have been conducting almost daily night-time raids against insurgent targets throughout Afghanistan. Saturday's crash took place in the eastern province of Wardak, an area rife with insurgent activity. There has been a swell of recent attacks in the country's southern and eastern provinces.

Saturday's NATO crash is believed to have left more than two dozen U.S. troops dead, which would make it the war's worst single-day loss, according to a CNN count. Here are previous large-scale losses.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a statement saying as many as 31 U.S. special forces and seven Afghans were killed and offered "deep regret" to U.S. President Barack Obama.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the Americans who were lost earlier today in Afghanistan," Obama said in a statement. "We also mourn the Afghans who died alongside our troops in pursuit of a more peaceful and hopeful future for their country."

The Taliban claimed militants downed the helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade. Mohammad Hazrat Janan, head of the provincial council said Tangi village elders reported that insurgents shot at the craft when it was flying back from an operation.

The crash comes just as NATO is drawing down and handing over security control to national forces. Ten thousand U.S. soldiers are scheduled to depart by year's end, while the full drawn-down is expected to take place by the end of 2014.

Officials are being especially tight-lipped because recovery operations at the site are still under way and body identifications and family notifications are just beginning, the U.S. military official said.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force has not said how the incident occurred. ISAF spokesman Justin Brockhoff confirmed the crash and acknowledged the helicopter had been flying in area where there was reported insurgent activity, but declined to offer additional details.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul, which said the crash occurred Friday evening, said ISAF "is still assessing the circumstances that resulted in these deaths."

Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi said it's too early to say if the Taliban caused the crash. He called for an investigation.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen hailed the coalition soldiers in Afghanistan and "honor their sacrifices."

"We are determined to stay the course, especially in this crucial period when Afghan and international security forces are working closer than ever to make transition a success," he said.

Last month, a NATO helicopter was brought down by insurgent fire in the country's eastern province of Kunar. The Taliban also claimed responsibility for that attack, though no injuries were reported.

In a separate incident, a NATO service member died Saturday after an improvised explosive device detonated in southern Afghanistan.

Elsewhere Saturday, a joint Afghan and coalition force conducted raids in the eastern province of Nangarhar, killing "several insurgents," NATO reported.

The operation also targeted a "Taliban facilitator," who NATO says was responsible for supplying ammunition and bomb-making materials to the Taliban.

In July, a series of gun battles in Nangarhar between insurgents and NATO forces left at least 10 militants dead.

Currently, there are 150,000 ISAF forces in Afghanistan, including nearly 100,000 from the United States -- the largest NATO presence in the region since the U.S.-led war began in 2001.

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  • by Anonymous on Aug 13, 2011 at 07:19 AM
    I thought releasing the names of SF's would endanger their families? Why now. Wouldnt his family still be in danger??!!
  • by LM Location: Tallahassee on Aug 11, 2011 at 12:41 PM
    Thank you, Soldiers.
  • by Miriam Location: Tallahassee on Aug 11, 2011 at 11:55 AM
    God bless this hero and his family.
  • by Repubtallygirl Location: Crawfordville on Aug 11, 2011 at 11:50 AM
    May God Bless and be with the families and friends of those killed in action. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice to our great nation. RIP!
  • by Sam Location: Tallahassee on Aug 11, 2011 at 10:04 AM
    I represent a program called Fallen Heroes Project, which was established by Artist Michael G. Reagan, Edmonds Washington. The program provides the families of Fallen Heroes with a beautiful hand drawn portrait, framed and matted at absolutely no cost the the families. If someone is close to this family please have a representative of the family contact me to arrange a portrait at italianman1934@yahoo.com.
  • by Cause I Said so on Aug 11, 2011 at 09:41 AM
    I love our soldiers, I dont love this false cause they are dieing for all over the globe. The military industrial complex, big business, big oil, big money from big companies that are producing the products of war, from ammo to APC's, battle ships and Jets. The manufactures of this war are profiting off the lives of our young men and women. A global force for good? We have 5 published conflicts and interest that we are bombing or infiltrating right now,( Rt General Wesly Clark spoke about this years ago) personel in scores of countries. The UN is taking over ( Barry said it was ok) and we as Americans are sitting back feeding this war machine our money and our childrens lives. When can we stop this monster parasite that is feeding on the blood of humanity. Using TV and Media to manipulate and out right lie in our faces. Keep sending our best and brightest off to be slaughtered and we're left with the highschool loosers that even the military wouldnt take to repopulate. Easier to conquer the mind of a moron. It was done in all the wars. Weaken the gene pool by sending off the best and bravest in the towns and cities. After hundreds of millions of lives from "their side " or "OURS". Great social control program. Pushing a fake and our made up enemy/ boogeyman that most times works for/ funded by one of our alphabet gangs. CIA FBI NSA MI6 KGB. Pushing abortions and gay marriage. Pushing the victim mentality. Pushing higher slave wages and taxes. I saw the interview with the Pakistani neighbor and if the translations were right. Many of our men died in the Tim Osman hollywood raid set up. Just a coincedence that our same brother soldiers are now "Officially " dead, May their families find peace..
  • by Anonymous on Aug 11, 2011 at 09:34 AM
    They said earlier that releasing the names would put their families in danger? But somehow after their deaths it's ok to release the names? Are there families and love ones not still at risk?
    • reply
      by Jethro Capital City, Florida on Aug 11, 2011 at 08:02 PM in reply to
      These warriors wore a uniform and saluted an officer, but they had nothing to do with an Air Force Special Warfare Operations Specialist, or U. S. Army Rangers, or a U.D.T. S.E.A.L.'s These were not U.S.Marines, but they were the few, and the proud! They did not recieve a monthly check from the dod. They were better, and should be honored as such! They were the stuff of legend! This will be the talk of generations! They made me proud! They made me want to keep killing the badguys! They will not die, without my help! Thanx.
  • by Jethro Location: T. Town, Florida on Aug 9, 2011 at 01:35 PM
    It's just me, and we're just talkin', but I do not think they should make these names available to the public. The names of these Army Rangers, and Navy S.E.A.L.s should remain secret.
    • reply
      by D on Aug 11, 2011 at 08:30 AM in reply to Jethro
      Jethro, as a veteran I have to disagree. Yes these names remain confidential through out operations and activities but in the case of death these names should be released for us as a nation to know and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
  • by TallyTrashTalks2 Location: Tallahassee on Aug 7, 2011 at 05:30 PM
    When we stop sticking our nose into the business of others countries and learn to respect people of other beliefs and opinions.... our war will end. Until that happens, the loss of life in this madness will continue and it just isn't worth the price!!
    • reply
      by kcfu ewe on Aug 11, 2011 at 09:29 AM in reply to TallyTrashTalks2
      You don't DESERVE to be an American. You don't DESERVE to have the rights that people have died to give you. You don't DESERVE to sit at your computer screen and type slanderous words about the greatest nation in the world, and NOT go to jail for doing it because of your freedom of speech. You are a disgusting individual. I'm ashamed of you.
    • reply
      by Frank on Aug 11, 2011 at 04:11 PM in reply to TallyTrashTalks2
      Anytime you live in a country where you can say whatever you want to whomever you wish, thank a service member. God Bless Our Troops.
  • by WCTV Viewer on Aug 7, 2011 at 02:56 PM
    This is easy. It's Bush's fault!
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