Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Blast Was Army Green Beret
Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson was killed by a roadside bomb Tuesday.
By LUIS MARTINEZ
August 24, 2016, 9:00 PM
• 4 min read
-- An American soldier killed by a roadside bomb Tuesday in Afghanistan's Helmand Province has been identified as Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson, 28, of Irvine, California.
Thompson served with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State.
On Tuesday, the Army Green Beret was on a foot patrol with other American troops advising Afghan special operations forces near Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province where the Taliban have engaged in heavy combat.
Thompson was killed by a bomb blast that left another American service member injured and six Afghan soldiers.
In a statement, General Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, expressed his condolences to Thompson's family.
"Our CENTCOM family is deeply affected by the death of Army Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated during dismounted operations," said Votel.
"On behalf of the men and women of U.S. Central Command, I extend our sincere condolences to the family, friends and Sgt. Thompson's fellow service members, as well as gratitude for his selfless and honorable service to our Nation."
On Monday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter also extended his condolences and said the deadly attack "reminds us that Afghanistan remains a dangerous place, and there is difficult work ahead even as Afghan forces continue to make progress in securing their own country."
Thompson is the second U.S. combat death in Afghanistan this year. In January, fellow Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Matthew McClintock, 30, died after an hours-long firefight near Marjah, also in Helmand province. He was assisting Afghan special operations troops as they defended against an intense Taliban assault.
A U.S. official said that Thompson was not one of the 100 U.S. troops recently sent to Lashkar Gah to train, advise and assist local Afghan police as they face a major summer offensive by the Taliban. That group includes trainers as well as a force to provide protection for them.
In Monday's briefing, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters that the force would not be a permanent presence and that the troops would "return to their base at some point."
There are several hundred other U.S. personnel at the former Camp Bastion in Helmand Province that have been training the Afghan army.