N.M. soldier killed in Afghanistan worked with Rock Hill Guard unit

adys@heraldonline.comMarch 24, 2013 

A soldier from a New Mexico Army unit killed in eastern Afghanistan Friday is a member of the task force commanded by soldiers from Rock Hill's National Guard armory.

The soldier's death is the fourth among troops working under the command of the 178th Combat Engineers, who go by the name Task Force Prowler in Afghanistan and whose command staff comes from the Rock Hill armory.

No local soldiers among the 161 men and women from two companies of the 178th who deployed in 2012 have been killed in action during this tour.

Sgt. Tristan M. Wade, 23, of Indianapolis, Ind., died after insurgents used a homemade bomb – typically called an improvised explosive device or IED – against his unit, according to the Department of Defense.

The attack happened in Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan, in the Qarah Baqh district south west of Kabul, the nation’s capital and its largest city.

Wade was part of the 573rd Clearance Company, 2nd Engineer Battalion out of White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Army officials said.

“The White Sands family collectively right now is heartbroken,” Monte Marlin, a spokesperson for the unit, said late Sunday from New Mexico.

On Nov. 3, three New York Army reservists who were assigned to the Rock Hill-based 178th died when their unit was attacked by insurgents with a homemade bomb.

Task Force Prowler is led by Col. Corol Dobson, commanding officer of the 178th. Area soldiers also run and staff the forward support company and headquarters support company for the task force.

The Rock Hill unit left in July, landed in Afghanistan in August, and is expected to return in early or mid-May.

Andrew Dys •  803-329-4065

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