Late last night the Department of Defense announced the names of five U.S. troops thought to have been killed by “friendly fire” in Gaza Village, Afghanistan, June 9, 2014.
Officially, the Pentagon states the Soldiers were killed while “engaged in a combat operations" however, unofficial reports indicate the troops died as a result of a bomb dropped by a B1 bomber when ground forces called for close-in air support.
Killed while supporting Operation Freedom were Staff Sgt. Scott R. Studenmund, 24, of Pasadena, Calif., Staff Sgt. Jason A. McDonald, 28, of Butler, Ga., Spc. Justin R. Helton, 25, of Beaver, Ohio, Cpl. Justin R. Clouse, 22, of Sprague, Wash., and Pvt. 2nd Class Aaron S. Toppen, 19, of Mokena, Ill.
Spc. Helton was assigned to the 18th Ordnance Company, 192nd Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance Group, Fort Bragg, N.C. Cpl. Clouse and Pvt. 2nd Class Toppen were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
Additional information regarding Staff Sgt. Studenmund and Staff Sgt. McDonald, including previous deployments, commendations and marital status, is available to media sources by contacting the U.S. Army Special Forces Command public affairs office during duty hours at 910-908-3947 or after duty hours at 910-689-6187.
Deployment and other information regarding Spc. Helton, is available to the media by contacting the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) public affairs office during duty hours at 410-436-3433 or after duty hours at 410-436-6200.
For more information regarding Cpl. Clouse and Pvt. 2nd Class Toppen, including previous deployments and commendations, the media may contact the Fort Carson public affairs office during duty hours at 719-526-4143 or after duty hours at 719-526-5500 and ask for the on-duty public affairs officer.