FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — A tough battle continues in eastern Afghanistan's most volatile area where six U.S. soldiers died on Tuesday, said Maj. Gen. John F. Campbell, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division.
Campbell spoke to reporters at Fort Campbell on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line during a video conference from his headquarters in Bagram, Afghanistan, on Thursday and said that 117 members of the 101st have died in Afghanistan since last March. All six soldiers killed Tuesday were from the 1st Brigade Combat Team.
The latest deaths came during ongoing combat to clear insurgents from eastern Afghanistan. Campbell said he couldn't discuss details because the operation was ongoing, but called it a joint mission involving NATO forces, the Afghan National Army and border police in Kunar province.
"There were a significant number of insurgents killed in this operation, several large caches found and this operation is still ongoing," he said.
Attacks on coalition forces have remained high even over the winter months during this deployment, Campbell said. Attacks since October were up 21 percent over last winter, but he said their effectiveness is lower.
"Some of them leave and then come back out of Pakistan," Campbell said. "Many have stayed and fought throughout the winter."
He said morale remains high for the troops from the 101st.
The Pentagon released the names of the six soldiers on Thursday.
They were Staff Sgt. Bryan A. Burgess, 29, of Cleburne, Texas; Pfc. Dustin J. Feldhaus, 20, of Glendale, Ariz.; Sgt. 1st Class Ofren Arrechaga, 28, of Hialeah; Staff Sgt. Frank E. Adamski III, 26, of Moosup, Conn.; Spc. Jameson L. Lindskog, 23, of Pleasanton, Calif.; and Pvt. Jeremy P. Faulkner, 23, of Griffin, Ga. (photo not available).