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Tipsheet

DOD Identifies the Three US Service Members Killed in Afghanistan

The Department of Defense identified the three service members that were killed by an improvised explosive device in Andar, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan on Tuesday. Two were serving in the Army while the other was serving in the Air Force.

They are:

-Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, of Lexington, Virginia.

-Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, of Brush Prairie, Washington.

-Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, 25, of Hookstown, Pennsylvania.

Ross and Emond were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina while Elchin was assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.

The incident remains under investigation.

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"Andrew and Eric were invaluable members and leaders in 3rd Special Forces Group and the special operations community. Our most heartfelt condolences go out to the families of these brave men," said Col. Nathan Prussian, 3rd SFG (A) commander in a statement:

Ross, a native of Lexington, Virginia, had more than seven years of service in the Army. This was his second overseas tour. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (2nd award), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Action Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, and Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge. Ross was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge. He is survived by his wife and parents.

Emond, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, had more than 21 years of military service, having served in the Marine Corps and the Army. This was his seventh overseas tour. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (3rd award), Purple Heart (2nd award), Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, NATO Achievement Medal (2nd award), Afghanistan Campaign Medal (4th award), NATO Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon (2nd award), National Defense Service Medal, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantry Badge, and Combat Action Badge. Emond was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal. He is survived by his wife and three children.

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"Dylan had an unusual drive to succeed and contribute to the team. He displayed maturity and
stoicism beyond his years, and was always level-headed, no matter the situation,” said Lt. Col.
Gregory Walsh, commander of the 26th Special Tactics Squadron. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dylan's family, fiancé, and friends. He will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.”

Elchin was born in Beaver, Pennsylvania in 1993. He enlisted in the United States Air Force as a Special Tactics Combat Controller on Aug. 7, 2012. He immediately entered the two-year Special Tactics Combat Controller training program and upon completion of the pipeline, he was assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. He was a qualified military static line jumper, free fall jumper, an Air Force qualified combat scuba diver, and a qualified Joint Terminal Attack Controller. In August 2018, Elchin deployed to Afghanistan and embedded with an Army Special Operations Force Operational Detachment-Alpha team where his role was to advise the Ground Force Commander, direct close air support aircraft, and deliver destructive ordnance on enemy targets in support of offensive combat operations.

The three military members’ deaths come shortly after Sgt. Leandro A.S. Jasso was killed by likely friendly fire by Afghan forces incident while fighting Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

A total of five American service members have been killed in the month of November. Major. Brent Taylor of the Utah Army National Guard was killed during an insider attack earlier this month.

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