DENVER – A man from the Town of Cortez was identified by the Pentagon as one of the two soldiers killed in combat during a partnered military operation in Afghanistan on Friday.
Sgt. 1st Class Will D. Lindsay, 33, of Cortez, Colorado and 29-year-old Spc. Joseph Collette of Lancaster, Ohio, died from wounds sustained during Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Kunduz Province in northern Afghanistan, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Defense.
Two U.S. defense officials told CNN Friday both were killed during a fight with the Taliban. Afghan troops were also killed in the incident.
Lindsay was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Fort Carson, the DOD release stated.
Lindsay enlisted in the U.S. Army on July 7, 2004. Following the completion of his training, he completed the Special Forces Qualification Course and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group in July 2006, a news release from the Army's Special Operations Command states.
"The 10th SFG (A) Family is deeply saddened at the loss of Sgt. 1st Class Will Lindsay," said Col. Lawrence Ferguson, 10th SFG (A) commander. "Will was one of the best in our formation, with more than a decade of service in the Regiment at all levels of noncommissioned officer leadership. We will focus now on supporting his Family and honoring his legacy and sacrifice."
Lindsay's deployments include five tours in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn; to Tajikistan in 2016 supporting the Counter-Narcotics Terrorism mission; and Afghanistan supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
The Colorado soldier is survived by his wife and four daughters.
Their deaths mark the third and fourth US military deaths in Afghanistan in 2019 and come as the Trump administration has sought to negotiate with the Taliban to help bring the conflict to an end.
The U.S. has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, where they primarily advise Afghan forces battling the Taliban and the local ISIS affiliate.
While U.S. officials have said the talks with the Taliban have made progress, they have yet to finalize any agreements and intense fighting between the government and the insurgency continues.
The talks have also opened a rift between Washington and Kabul, with some Afghan officials accusing the US of sidelining the Afghan government.
Despite these challenges, officials have told CNN that the Trump administration has instructed the U.S. military to begin drawing up plans for a substantial drawdown of U.S. personnel in Afghanistan.
CNN contributed to this report.