The Pentagon has identified two soldiers killed Friday, March 22, in Kunduz Province in Afghanistan as a result of what it said were wounds sustained while engaged in combat.
The two soldiers were identified as Sgt. 1st Class Will Lindsay, 33, of Cortez, Colorado, and Spc. Joseph Collette of Lancaster, Ohio, 29.
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Collette was assigned to the 242nd Ordnance Battalion, 71st Explosive Ordnance Group in Fort Carson, Colorado, and Lindsay was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Fort Carson.
Two US defense officials told CNN Friday that the two US service members were killed during a partnered US-Afghan military operation. The officials added that initial indications are that they were killed during a fight with the Taliban. Afghan troops were also killed in the incident.
SFC Will Lindsay conducting convoy operations in Iraq. Will served multiple tours in Iraq in addition to two tours in Afghanistan.
According to Army spokesman Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, Lindsay enlisted in the Army in 2004 and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart Medal, among other awards. His deployments include a handful of tours in Iraq, as well as tours in Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Col. Lawrence Ferguson, commander of the 10th Special Forces group, of which Lindsay was a member, said in a statement that his fellow soldiers are “deeply saddened” by his loss.
“Will was one of the best in our formation, with more than a decade of service in the Regiment at all levels of noncommissioned officer leadership. We will focus now on supporting his Family and honoring his legacy and sacrifice,” Ferguson said.
SFC Will Lindsay in Iraq. Will spent six years of his Special Forces career as a senior weapons sergeant.
This marks the third and fourth US military deaths in Afghanistan in 2019 and comes as the Trump administration has sought to negotiate with the Taliban to help bring the conflict to an end.
Last year on Nov. 27, a roadside bomb killed three American soldiers in eastern Afghanistan, the attack appeared to be the deadliest attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan in the last 17 months.
The three service members were killed by an improvised explosive device that detonated near Ghazni city, NATO’s Resolute Support mission said in a press release.
The attack also left three other soldiers wounded in addition to an American contractor. They were evacuated and are receiving medical care.
The bomb detonation killings came just days after a U.S. service member was shot to death on Nov. 24. The NATO Resolute Support mission said on Nov. 27 that he was “likely accidentally shot by our Afghan partner force” while conducting an operation targeting al Qaeda militants in Nimroz province.
The deaths also came several weeks after a Utah mayor and National Guard member was killed by one of the Afghan trainees he was training. Brent Taylor’s mission was to help train and build the capacity of the Afghan national army.
NTD News reporter Zachary Stieber and The Associated Press contributed to this report.