Pentagon Identifies Service Members Killed In Chinook Shoot Down

The Pentagon has identified the 30 American service members killed last week in the apparent attack on a Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan:

The Pentagon on Thursday identified the 30 U.S. servicemembers killed in a helicopter crash Saturday in eastern Afghanistan.

The CH-47 Chinook helicopter was carrying 17 Navy SEALs, five other naval special operators, three Air Force special operators and a five-man Army crew when it was shot down by a Taliban rocket-propelled grenade in the Sayyidabad district of Wardak province, a longtime stronghold of the Islamist group. Previous reports had mistakenly referred to all 22 sailors as SEALs.

Here’s the Pentagon press release:

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.

Funerals will be coming in the next several weeks, I imagine. Try to remember these guys as you go about your day.

 

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs, National Security, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. The initial reports that the helicopter and its crew were part of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment were incorrect then?

  2. Davebo says:

    Reading this list I’m amazed at how senior each of the victims are. From Lcdr to MCPO, SCPO, and Chiefs.

    This loss is horrible. And we’ve lost not only a lot of great service members, but also those who could have trained our next generation of great service members.

    The idea that Master Chief’s are working in operations is surprising to me but then I wasn’t a SEAL.

  3. @Davebo:

    James Joyner could probably speak to this more than I but it’s my understanding the special forces combatants like SEALs are typically made up of older men simply because their skills are more advanced thanks to years of training

  4. mike says:

    @Doug Mataconis: it often takes a while to get a chance to test for the SEALs and then it takes a long time to complete all the training and then they tend to make rank quickly —- some of the criticism about the mission is that it was not the 160th SOAR flying and not one of the latest Chinooks — whether it is warranted criticism, I have no idea.

  5. Richard Gardner says:

    @Davebo: I had the same thought reading the list, and I’m a Navy vet who has worked with SEAL Teams and SPECWARGRU (10 years ago +). Lots of Chiefs (E-7 and above) in the list. I’d expect a LCDR/CDR (O-4/5) as the leader, and an E-8/9 as the senior enlisted. I would have expected at least one junior officer (O-1/3) and not so many E-7s (Chiefs – CPO). This was an “A-team.”