A MARSOC Marine was killed in Afghanistan this week in an apparent insider attack.
Sgt. Charles C. Strong, 28, of Suffolk, Virginia, was killed Sept. 15, in Herat province, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command confirmed. Strong was a critical skills operator attached to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to a news release, and had served in the Marines since 2003. A former military police officer with two deployments to Iraq and a previous tour in Afghanistan, Strong joined MARSOC in 2013, officials said.
A spokesman for International Security Assistance Force, Marine Maj. Paul Greenberg, confirmed in a previous news release that an ISAF service member had been killed in western Afghanistan Sept. 15 by an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform. That release did not identify the fallen service member.
"Currently, Afghan officials and ISAF are reviewing the incident," Greenberg said. "ISAF continues to train, advise and assist the [Afghan National Security Forces], and does not view these incidents as representative of the positive relationship between our forces."
Strong's death is the first Marine casualty from an insider attack since May 2013, when another MARSOC Marine, Staff Sgt. Eric Christian, was killed in Farah province. The threat of insider attacks came to the forefront again in August when Army Maj. Gen. Harold Greene was killed by an Afghan soldier at The Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul.
According to a fundraiser website started by family friend Heather Chavez, Strong's wife, Taylor, is expecting a baby in December. The site invites friends and well-wishers to contribute toward a rocking chair for Taylor and flowers or a memorial for Strong.