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US service member killed in combat in Afghanistan

A U.S. service member was killed in combat in Afghanistan on August 29, the NATO Resolute Support mission said on Friday.

The service member, whose name is being withheld pending family notification, died during combat operations on Thursday, Resolute Support said without providing additional details.

Earlier on Friday, the Taliban claimed to have shelled Bagram air base, causing casualties. The U.S. Forces – Afghanistan spokesperson has not responded to the claim.


Update, September 1: U.S. Army Special Operations Command identified the service member as Special Forces Soldier Sergeant 1st Class Dustin B. Ard from the 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), known as the Green Berets.

Ard died on August 29 from wounds sustained during combat operations in Afghanistan’s southern Zabul province, U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Loren Bymer said.

From Idaho, Ard enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2011. He graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2015 and was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st SFG (A) at Joint Base
Lewis – McChord, Washington, as a Special Forces Communications Sergeant. He had deployed to Afghanistan twice before in support of Resolute Support.

Ard was promoted to Sgt. 1st Class on August 1 and was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart.

Much of Zabul province has remained largely under Taliban control during the 18-year-old war in Afghanistan.


Ard is the 15th American killed in Afghanistan this year. On August 21, two U.S. Special Forces soldiers were killed in combat operations in Faryab province.

Last month three American forces were killed in Uruzgan and Faryab provinces and a Croatian soldier with the NATO Afghanistan mission was killed and two others seriously wounded in a Taliban suicide attack in Kabul.

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