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Officials Plan to Release Chinook Casualties’ Names

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2011 – The Defense Department will officially identify the 30 American servicemen killed Aug. 6 aboard a Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan, a Pentagon spokesman said today.

Twenty-five of the Americans killed were special operations forces, and five were Army aircrew members. Seven Afghan commandos and an Afghan interpreter also were killed.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta decided to identify the servicemen after considering security concerns raised by U.S. Special Operations Command officials, Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan told reporters. The release – expected by noon tomorrow -- will have the names, ranks, ages, hometowns and units of those killed in the incident. “This is the standard information we put in casualty releases,” Lapan said.

The families of many of those killed in the incident already have acknowledged their loved ones’ deaths.

“Secretary Panetta never intended not to release the names,” Lapan said. “Due to the unique circumstances surrounding the incident – including the high number of special operations forces who were killed – the secretary of defense decided to honor requests by senior commanders for additional time to fully review the possible implications of the release for the victims and their families.”

All along, the secretary was going to release the names of those killed, the colonel said. “It was incumbent upon others to convince him otherwise, and that didn’t happen,” he added.

The bodies of those killed are at Dover Air Force Base, Del., undergoing identification procedures.

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The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

8/19/2011 12:50:55 AM
Our hearts go out to the families and friends of these servicemen who sacrified their lives protecting thefreedom of American people and basic human rights of Afghan people. Baloch nation whose homeland Balochistan is jointly occupied by Taliban forces of Pakistan and Iran are commited to fighting terrorism in that region. Pentagon officials should engage the secular Baloch nation in the fight against Taliban, who undoubtedly are an extension of Pakistan's regular army. Baloch nation is currently fighting for its independence from pakistan's fundamentalist army, and its militant fundamentalist groups. Pentagon should support the independence of Baloch homeland that would put an end to ISI's interference in Afghanistan.
- Baloch, USA

8/11/2011 1:44:59 PM
The death of these brave men once again highlights the problems in the US Pakistan relations. Please take this opportunity to speak with leaders of the Balochistan independence movement. Balochistan as an ally would prove to be far more supportive to America's geopolitical strategy in South Asia. Unlike the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Balochistan would be a secular democracy. Before the occupation of their country in January 1948 Balochistan women had the vote and work outside the home. The Baloch fear the continued influence of radical Islam extremist in the Pakistan military and ISI. Please, take my recommendation seriously. Balochistan's Independence Movement leaders are eager to begin a dialog with the United States. Pakistan has hardly proven to be our most trusted ally.
- Jane E Weisner, Amherst, MA 01002

8/11/2011 1:08:21 PM
Unfortunatly the public and media as of 12:00 will be able to learn the identity of the DOD personel involved in this fateful mission.Most of the media has found out about half of them do to external security failure so announcing the list was fair and ends the initial prowling around by the media .We all the next move by the media badger the family for information about there family member.Thats the one item that really will tear alot of them up.They lived in silence and worked in darkness only in the end to be exposed to the light they so protected.
- william emmons, Texas

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