Airman Killed in Afghanistan

SrA. Mark Forester, a combat controller assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command’s 21st Special Tactics Squadron at Pope AFB, N.C., has died in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, the Defense Department has announced. The native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., was killed Sept 29 while conducting combat operations with his special forces team. He was 29. “Mark believed with all his heart in serving his God, his country, and his family,” said Maj. Edmund Loughran, 21st STS acting commander, in an Air Force release. Loughran added, “The unit mourns his loss, but we could not be more proud of his devotion to defending what he believed in most.” Forester is the fourth airman, and the second combat controller, to die in operations in Southwest Asia in the past several weeks, following SrA. Michael Buras, SrA. James Hansen, and SrA. Daniel Sanchez. (See also Mobile Press-Register report and Tuscaloosa News report.)