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Troop Killed in Afghanistan, Earlier Iraq Casualties Identified

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2006 – One U.S. servicemember was killed, and one U.S. servicemember and one Afghan National Army soldier were wounded during joint offensive operations in the Sangin District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan, today, military officials reported.

Afghan and coalition ground forces engaged an estimated 20 enemy with small-arms fire. In addition, close-air support aircraft delivered 11 Joint Direct Attack Munitions on enemy positions.

"I am deeply saddened by the death of our servicemember today, and my deepest sympathies are extended to his family and comrades in arms," said Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commanding general of the coalition's Combined Joint Task Force 76.

"There are known Taliban extremists in the Sangin District, and the Afghan National Army and coalition forces will continue to attack these enemies of Afghanistan until the district and province are safe and secure," he said. "We will not be deterred from our mission to provide a safe and secure environment to the Afghan people."

The wounded U.S. and Afghan soldiers were evacuated to a coalition medical facility in Kandahar province for treatment. The deceased servicemember's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The Defense Department released the names of two other servicemembers killed recently in Iraq.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Randy D. McCaulley, 44, of Indiana, Pa., died in Habbaniyah, Iraq, on March 23, when his dismounted patrol came under enemy small-arms fire. McCaulley was assigned to the Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, Indiana, Pa.

Army Staff Sgt. Brock A. Beery, 30, of White House, Tenn., died in Habbaniyah on March 23, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle and his unit came under attack by small-arms fire. Beery was assigned to the Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 123rd Armor Regiment, Bowling Green, Ky.

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan and Defense Department news releases.)

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