POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 2, 2011
A 28-year-old Schofield Barracks soldier is the 13th member of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team to be killed in combat in Afghanistan since the Hawaii unit deployed in March and April.
The Pentagon said Sgt. William B. GrossPaniagua of Daly City, Calif., died Sunday in eastern Kunar province from injuries received when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.
He was assigned to the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
GrossPaniagua was on his second combat tour, officials said. He previously served in Iraq in 2008 with the 3rd Brigade. GrossPaniagua enlisted in the Army in 2005 as a combat engineer.
The 3rd Brigade, which has about 3,500 soldiers, operates in Kunar and Nangarhar provinces from fewer than 10 forward operating bases and multiple combat outposts. Kunar province is a transit route for militants entering from Pakistan.
Mountainous and violent, Kunar province has the third-highest fatality rate for U.S. and coalition forces in the 10-year-old war, with 162 deaths, according to the website icasualties.org, which tracks casualties from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
There have been 753 coalition deaths in Helmand province and 380 deaths in Kandahar province, according to the website.
Nine of the 3rd Brigade's 13 combat deaths happened in a five-week span in May and June. The death of a 14th Schofield soldier on the deployment was being investigated as a possible suicide, officials previously said.