Green Beret Killed in Afghan Fighting
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 4, 2002 -The Department of Defense announced today that Army Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman, 31, of San Antonio, Texas, was killed in action in Afghanistan as the result of enemy fire.
A Central Intelligence Agency employee was seriously wounded in the same incident and was evacuated by helicopter. CIA officials said his condition is serious, but he is expected to live.
The Green Beret was part of a team coordinating with local tribal elements in the vicinity of Gardez-Khost. He was to "facilitate cooperation between our forces in the region and the local tribal elements," Army Gen. Tommy Franks said during a news conference in Tampa, Fla., Jan. 4.
Details on the incident are not yet available. "What I know is there was an exchange of small arms fire and that this American serviceman was doing his job ... and I think anything else I say at this point would be speculative," said Franks, commander of U.S. Central Command.
The general said the death of the soldier - the first military loss to hostile fire in the campaign - reminds him "of the cost that these great young people pay."
Afghanistan is still a very dangerous area, he noted. "I am thankful every day that we have not lost more people than we have lost in this fight," he said. "I will tell you when we have lost someone, it touches my command and all of us very deeply."
A CIA employee - John Michael Spann - was killed during the Taliban prison uprising in November. Five U.S. service members were injured in a "friendly fire" incident near Mazar-e Sharif Nov. 25.
Three U.S. service members were killed and 19 injured in another friendly fire incident near Kandahar Dec. 5. Another U.S. soldier was wounded by gunfire Dec. 4. Two soldiers were also killed in a helicopter crash in Pakistan Oct. 19.
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