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DoD names troops killed in Chinook shootdown

Aug. 11, 2011 - 11:08AM   |   Last Updated: Aug. 11, 2011 - 11:08AM  |  
President Obama, right, and other officials salute as remains of U.S. service members who were killed in the Chinook helicopter shoot-down return to Dover Air Force Base, Del., on Aug. 9.
President Obama, right, and other officials salute as remains of U.S. service members who were killed in the Chinook helicopter shoot-down return to Dover Air Force Base, Del., on Aug. 9. (Pete Souza / White House)
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Editor's Note: This photo gallery shows the troops killed in the Aug. 6 Chinook crash.

The identities of 30 U.S. service members killed last week in the Afghan war's deadliest episode have been made public by the Defense Department after several days of debate over whether to release their names.

Among the dead are 22 members of the Navy, including 17 SEALs. Debate had swirled within the Defense Department over whether to release the names of the troops killed in the Aug. 6 shootdown by insurgents — in part, officials told The Associated Press, because many reportedly were part of the elite Naval Special Warfare Development Group, also known as SEAL Team 6.

These men were assigned to an East Coast-based naval special warfare unit:

• Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, La.

• Master Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, Calif.

• Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Ark.

• Senior Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EXW/FPJ) Kraig M. Vickers, 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii

• Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, Conn.

• Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis.

• Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Mass.

• Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City, Mo.

• Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas.

• Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EXW/FPJ/DV) Nicholas H. Null, 30, of Washington, W.Va.

• Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, La.

• Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit.

• Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, Calif.

• Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL/PJ) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, N.C.

• Information Systems Technician 1st Class (EXW/FPJ) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, Utah.

• Master-at-Arms 1st Class (EXW) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Neb.

• Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class (EXW) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia.

• Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL/SW) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, of Rockford, Iowa.

• Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart, Fla.

• Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah.

These sailors were assigned to a West Coast-based naval special warfare unit:

• Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, 27, of Willits, Calif.

• Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, of St. Paul, Minn.

The soldiers killed were:

• Chief Warrant Officer 4 David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colo. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), of Aurora, Colo.

• Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), of New Century, Kan.

• Staff Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), of Grand Island, Neb.

• Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Wash. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), of New Century, Kan.

• Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), of New Century, Kan.

The airmen killed, all assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron of Pope Field, N.C., were:

• Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Fla.

• Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, Calif.

• Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pa.

Seven Afghan commandos and an Afghan interpreter died alongside the U.S. troops during the nighttime operation conducted in Afghanistan's Tangi Valley, according to AP.

The remains of the Americans killed returned to Dover Air Force Base, Del., on Tuesday, where they were met by top military leaders including President Obama. The dignified transfer was closed to the media.

Rear Adm. Sean Pybus, head of Naval Special Warfare Command, said in a statement Thursday that his command suffered a tremendous loss and that it "will honor their service and sacrifice, and embrace their families as our own, in this time of immeasurable grief."

Of the U.S. and Afghan troops killed Saturday, Pybus said, "we grieve for all of them, and admire their teamwork, commitment and courage."

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