Local News

Death of Fort Bragg soldier highlights dangers faced by the military

Posted June 11, 2018 6:52 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 11:14 a.m. EDT

— A soldier from Fort Bragg's Special Operations Command died Friday when his unit was ambushed in Somalia. His death highlights the dangerous missions that Fort Bragg units take on -- all over the world.

The Pentagon said Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Conrad, 26, of Chandler, Arizona, died Friday of injuries sustained from what it called enemy indirect fire during an incident in Somalia. Chandler was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group.

His death highlights the perilous missions that many Bragg soldiers face.

"Fort Bragg troops are some of the first to answer the call to hot spots all over the world," said Maj. Drew Rhodes. " It can be easy to forget if you're not living in this community the dangers these soldiers face every day (to keep) Americans safe."

The 82nd Airborne Division is known as America's Guard of Honor. The unit is capable of delivering a deadly force anywhere in the world on short notice with wheels up within 18 hours.

The paratroopers are now taking part in Operation Swift Response. It's an annual training exercise that takes place in Europe.

Last week, the 82nd Airborne Division jumped into Latvia and Lithuania.

In addition to this training, troops from Fort Bragg are on a variety of missions in more than 13 countries around the world.

It's similar to the one where Conrad was killed in southern Somalia.

Military officials said his unit was attacked by mortar and small arms-fire.

Conrad is the fifth soldier from 3rd Special Forces Group ambushed and killed in Africa in less than a year.

In October, four members of the unit died when they came under attack in Niger.