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Staff Sgt. Joshua R. Townsend, 30, died Jan. 16, from a non-battle death incident at U.S. military Fire Base Ripley, Tarin Kowt district, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan while serving with Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in May 2008 as a member of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan. This was his second deployment in support of the Global War on Terror and second deployment to Afghanistan. He was a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha weapons sergeant.
Townsend, a native of Solvang, Calif., volunteered for military service and entered the Army in Aug. 2003 as a Special Forces trainee. After basic and advanced individual training at Fort Benning, Ga., he was assigned to the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, N.C. in Jan. 2004 for Special Forces training. He earned the coveted “Green Beret” in 2005 and was assigned to 1st Bn., 7th SFG(A) at Fort Bragg, N.C., as a Special Forces weapons sergeant.
Townsend’s military education includes; the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course, Basic Airborne Course, Warrior Leaders Course, and Special Forces Qualification Course. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the Special Forces Tab.
Townsend is survived by his wife, Rachel, of Pinehurst, N.C.; mother Linda Townsend, of San Jose, Calif.; father, Daniel, and brother, Jordan, of Solvang.
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