EOD Technician and Green Beret Killed on Tuesday in Afghanistan Identified
Two US Soldiers killed in Afghanistan came just as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Kabul for a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani. The two soldiers killed on Tuesday have been identified as Green Beret MSgt Micheal Riley and EOD technician Sgt. James G. Johnston.
The incident occurred in Southern Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province late Tuesday in what the military describes as a “close quarters firefight.” The men were working alongside Afghanistan forces as they battled Taliban insurgents, according to Stripes.
MSgt Micheal Riley, 32, a Green Beret
(Note: all of the media reports spelled his name this way rather than the normal Michael)
MSgt Riley was from Germany, and was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Carson in Colorado. This deployment to Afghanistan was his sixth.
“It is with a heavy heart that we learn of the passing of Master Sgt. Micheal Riley in Afghanistan. Mike was an experienced Special Forces noncommissioned officer and the veteran of five previous deployments to Afghanistan. We will honor his service and sacrifice as we remain steadfast in our commitment to our mission.” 10th Special Forces Group commander Col. Lawrence G. Ferguson
MSgt Riley had numerous decorations and awards: a Bronze Star, five Army Commendation Medals, the Special Forces Tab, the Ranger Tab, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
EOD Technician Sgt James Johnston, 24
Sgt Johnston was from New York, and was assigned to the 79th Ordnance Battalion, 71st Ordnance Group out of Fort Hood, Texas.
Sgt Johnston enlisted in 2013, and deployed to Afghanistan in March 2019.
“Intelligent, trained, always ready. We will honor his service and his sacrifice to this nation as we continue to protect others from explosive hazards around the world.” Lt. Col. Stacy M. Enyeart, commander, 79th Ordnance Battalion
Johnston’s wife is expecting a child. She and his parents travelled to Dover Air Force Base to receive his remains on Thursday.
“My heart and everything else is hurting and I don’t really have the ability to keep putting words together, but I thank all of you so much for the kind words and support. I love you husband, forever and always you better watch over me and our baby girl.” Krista Johnston
His awards and decorations include a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, an Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
The US government is hoping to bring the Afghanistan war to an end after 18 years. The 7th round of discussions with the terrorist group is set for Saturday in Doha.
Featured photo: US Army. Left- Sgt James Johnston, Right- MSgt Micheal Riley