The Pentagon has identified the U.S. service member who died in Afghanistan on Monday as Sgt. 1st Class Michael James Goble.
"Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Goble, 33, of Washington Township, New Jersey, died Dec. 23, 2019, as a result of injuries sustained while his unit was engaged in combat operations on Dec. 22, 2019, in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan," according to a Pentagon statement. "The incident is under investigation."
The dignified transfer of his remains took place Wednesday at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware.
Originally from Westwood, New Jersey, Goble entered the U.S. Army as a special forces candidate on July 7, 2004 and became a Green Beret in February 2007.
Goble was assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
He had deployed to Afghanistan twice before and had multiple overseas deployments to countries in Central and South America and South Korea.
"Sgt. 1st Class Goble was more than just a member of the 7th Special Forces Group, he was a brother to us, and a beloved family member to the Northwest Florida community." said Col. John W. Sannes, 7th SFG (A) commander. "We will honor our brother's sacrifice and provide the best possible care to his family. We ask that you keep his Family and teammates in your thoughts and prayers."
No details were provided as to the circumstances surrounding the combat operation that killed Goble.
The last service member killed by enemy fire in Afghanistan was in September, when Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy W. Griffin was killed by small arms fire in Wardak Province.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle, 33, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr., 25, were the 18th and 19th service members to die in Afghanistan when their helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan in November. The Pentagon said that the helicopter did not appear to have been shot down by enemy fire.
President Donald Trump has long-advocated a reduction in troop numbers in Afghanistan. Negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban on troop levels fell apart in the fall, however.
In a visit to Kabul last week, Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he could support a decision by Trump to reduce troop levels from about 12,000 to 8,600 -- a figure that Trump expressed support for this past August.
No decision on a troop reduction has been made.
Goble's military awards and decorations include: Bronze Star Medal (3 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with "V", Army Commendation Medal (1 OLC), Army Good Conduct Medal (4 Knots), National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2 campaign stars), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 3), Nation Defense Service Medal, NATO Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Humanitarian Service Medal, Overseas Ribbon, NATO Non Article 5 (2nd award), Valorous Unit Award, Army Superior Unit Award, Special Forces Tab, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Basic Airborne and Military Free Fall Jumpmaster Badges.