Washington, DC, United States (4E) – A soldier from Laurel, Florida became the first American and NATO combat casualty in Afghanistan after he was killed in fighting with Taliban insurgents on Saturday, the Department of Defense (DOD) said.
Sgt. 1st Class William K. Lacey, 38, was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade attack of a joint Afghan-NATO military base in Nangarhar province’s Ghani Khail district. Six insurgents attacked the base after a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb at the gate at 8 a.m. A gun battle followed lasting 40 minutes.
Afghan soldiers fought alongside coalition troops. All six insurgents were killed by coalition forces.
Lacey was a vehicle mechanic assigned to the 201st Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Knox, according to Stars and Stripes. He was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the DOD said U.S. Marine Sgt. Jacob M. Hess was also killed in Afghanistan on Jan. 1, but it is still verifying if he was a combat casualty.