US Special Operations Members Killed in Ghazni City, Afghanistan
An IED attack killed 3 Special Operations members in the Andar district of Ghazni City on Tuesday. Four others, three special operations personnel along with one US civilian contractor, were wounded. The wounded were evacuated and at last report were receiving medical care.
Two Green Berets and an Air Force Combat Controller were killed when the IED detonated under their vehicle. Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, were identified as the Green Berets. Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, 25 was identified as the Special Tactics airman.
“Andrew and Eric were invaluable members and leaders in 3rd Special Forces Group and the special operations community. Our most heartfelt condolences go out to the families of these brave men.” Col. Nathan Prussian, 3rd Group commander
Eric Emond had been in the US military for 21 years, from the Marine Corps to the Army. He deployed 7 times during his service. Both he and Andrew Ross were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Military Times reported their awards:
Sgt 1st Class Eric Emond
His awards and decorations include three Bronze Star Medals, two Purple Hearts, the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, two NATO Achievement Medal, four Afghanistan Campaign Medals, Army Good Conduct Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, two Overseas Service Ribbons, National Defense Service Medal, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantry Badge, and Combat Action Badge.
Emond was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Captain Andrew Ross
Ross had more than seven years of service in the Army. This was his second overseas tour. His awards and decorations include two Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Action Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, and Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge.
Ross was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge. He is survived by his wife and parents.
Special Tactical Airman Dylan Elchin
Elchin had been in the Air Force for six years, enlisting directly into Special Tactics.
He had qualified in static line parachuting, military free fall, combat scuba diving, and was a rated Joint Terminal Attack Controller.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with Valor, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Combat Action Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award, Air Force NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon and NATO Medal.
Elchin is survived by his mother and fiancée.
“Dylan had an unusual drive to succeed and contribute to the team. He displayed maturity and stoicism beyond his years and was always level-headed, no matter the situation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dylan’s family, fiancé, and friends. He will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.” Lt. Col. Gregory Walsh, commander of the 26th Special Tactics Squadron
The best of the best- three experienced members of the US Special Operations Forces lost in an IED detonation. R.I.P., gentlemen.
Featured photo: Left to Right: Captain Andrew Ross, Sgt First Class Eric Emond, Special Tactics Airman Dylan Elchin