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Old 10-19-2018, 04:37 PM
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Arrow Remembering The 2 Army Rangers Who Were The First Combat-Related Deaths Of The Afghan

Remembering The 2 Army Rangers Who Were The First Combat-Related Deaths Of The Afghan War
By: PAUL SZOLDRA on October 19, 2018


The first U.S. military combat-related deaths attributed to the still ongoing war in Afghanistan were two Army Rangers who died in a helicopter crash 17 years ago on Oct. 19, 2001.

Pfc. Kristofor T. Stonesifer, of Missoula, Montana, and Spc. Jonn J. Edmunds, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, were killed when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Pakistan, while in support of a special operations raid into Kandahar, Afghanistan days after Operation Enduring Freedom kicked off (Air Force Master Sgt. Evander Andrews was the first service member who died in support of OEF, as a result of a fork lift accident in Qatar).

While assigned to Bravo Co., 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Stonesifer and Edmunds were part of a Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) element supporting their fellow Rangers during Operation Rhino, which air-dropped hundreds of Rangers onto targets in and around the Kandahar area, then a Taliban stronghold.

While their fellow soldiers in Alpha Co. were dropping into Afghanistan on Oct. 19, Bravo Co. was back in Pakistan standing by in case there was trouble.

Fortunately, the operation went off without a hitch. The Rangers conducted a fairly flawless night-time parachute drop, seized an airstrip, and began establishing what would later be called Camp Rhino. A unit of Marines followed soon after and became the first conventional forces in the country.

But according to the book Special Forces in the War on Terror by Leigh Neville, both Stonesifer, 28, and Edmunds, 20, “were sadly killed when their MH-60L helicopter crashed at Objective Honda in Pakistan, a temporary staging site secured by a company of Rangers from 3/75th Ranger Regiment.”

Personal note: Our sympathies to the Families & Friend's of those who've fallen in the line of duty.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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