US Sailor Marks 3,000th Afghanistan Death For NATO Coalition
Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan J. Wilson, 26, a U.S. sailor from Shasta, California died on May 20 in Manama Bahrian, making him the 3,000th international solider to die during fighting in Afghanistan.
Information relating to the number of deaths associated with fighting in Afghanistan was revealed this week in a filing sent by email from the U.S. Defense Department and the International Security Assistance Force.
Wilson was supporting the Afghanistan mission as a member of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain.
Since the United States engaged in the Afghanistan war on October 7, 2001 the country has lost 1,974 soldiers as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The higher number of U.S. losses compared to international agencies is a result of the larger support base the United States has provided to the war in Afghanistan.
50 countries are currently supporting the war on terror in Afghanistn including Britain which has lost 414 lives since Operation Enduring Freedom.
News of the 3000th death comes after President Obama announced in 2011 the US’ goal of pulling out 33,000 troops by September. As of September 30 there will be 68,000 U.S. troops and 40,000 other coalition forces in Afghanistan, far less than 2011′s total of more than 130,000 troops.
French President Francois Hollande surprised the NATO coalition this week when he announced that France will pull out its troops by the end of 2012, well ahead of the 2014 troop withdrawal date.
During his time as a soldier Ryan J. Wilson was part of a small group of sailors who met with American studies students from the Univeristy of Bahrain in an attempt to increase cultural understanding.
[Photo credit RootsAction: Ryan J. Wilson not pictured]