WASHINGTON – The American troops killed in the deadliest single mission of the Afghanistan war came from two dozen states and all corners of the nation, mostly young men in their 20s and 30s.
The Pentagon Thursday released the list of the 30 killed, along with their ages and hometowns in states from Florida to Minnesota, and from Hawaii to Massachusetts.
Also Thursday, five U.S. troops were killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan.
Some of the names of troops killed in the helicopter crash were already known because their families have spoken about them since the Saturday downing of their helicopter by insurgents. Eight Afghans also died.
But the Pentagon first released the full list of the dead on Thursday, after an internal discussion over whether to identify those who were covert special operations troops.
The Special Operations Command had asked officials to withhold the names because of security worries. The majority of the dead were special operations forces, including members of SEAL Team 6, the unit that killed Osama bin Laden. Military officials said none of the crash victims were on that mission in Pakistan against the al-Qaida leader.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta decided to hold to Pentagon policy of releasing names.
Those killed were 17 members of the elite Navy SEALs, five Naval Special Warfare personnel who support the SEALs, three Air Force Special Operations personnel and an Army helicopter crew of five.