Two soldiers assigned to Fort Campbell were killed when a friendly fire airstrike hit a team of Afghan and U.S. troops conducting a security operation in Zabul province Monday.
The Department of Defense has identified the soldiers as Staff Sgt. Scott R. Studenmund, 24, of Pasadena, CA, and Staff Sgt. Jason A. McDonald, 28, of Butler, GA. Both men were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, Fort Campbell, KY.
Five soldiers died in the June 9 airstrike in Gaza Village. It marked the deadliest day for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since a helicopter crash in December 2013.
On July 10, the Department of Defense and Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby issued a statement saying, "Five American troops were killed yesterday during a security operation in southern Afghanistan. Investigators are looking into the likelihood that friendly fire was the cause. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these fallen."
The other soldiers killed have been identified as Spc. Justin R. Helton, 25, of Beaver, OH, Cpl. Justin R. Clouse, 22, of Sprague, WA, and Pvt. 2nd Class Aaron S. Toppen, 19, of Mokena, IL.
Spc. Helton was assigned to Fort Bragg, NC. Cpl. Clouse and Pvt. 2nd Class Toppen were assigned to Fort Carson, CO.
The Department of Defense says the incident remains under investigation.
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