KABUL, Afghanistan (ABC4 Utah) – One service member was killed and 11 were injured from the Utah National Guard during combat operations Wednesday in Afghanistan.
According to a press release from the Utah National Guard, the service members were on mission in Eastern Afghanistan partnered with Afghan Forces aimed at further reducing Islamic State of Iraq and Syrian-Khorasan presence in Afghanistan.
“My heart aches for the loss and sacrifice of our members and their families,” said Maj. Gen. Jefferson Burton, adjutant general of the Utah National Guard. “I know that what we do is dangerous and important work for our country’s defense, but this realization does little to console me during times of loss such as this.”
Wounded personnel have been medically evacuated for treatment and next-of-kin notifications are underway, officials say.
Thursday, Governor Gary Herbert held a press conference addressing the incident.
“The War on Terror continues and our men and women are being placed in harms way,” he said. Eight of the eleven injured lived in Utah. The Governor clarified the other three are member of the Utah National Guard, but do not live in our state.
“We appreciate the patriotism, the courage of the men and women in uniform. It is something we as Utahns ought to not forget..and always remember and keep them all in our prayers for their safety and well-being,” Governor Herbert said.
UPDATE: Thursday the family of the Utah Guard member killed identified him as Sgt. Aaron Butler of Monticello.