Remains Of 6 Soldiers Killed By Rogue Afghan Cop Come Home - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Remains Of 6 Soldiers Killed By Rogue Afghan Cop Come Home

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. - Several of President Barack Obama's top national security advisers stood on a silent, windy tarmac Wednesday night to watch as the bodies of six U.S. soldiers killed by a rogue Afghan policeman returned to U.S. soil.

The six were killed in Afghanistan on Monday when the border policeman turned his gun on his American trainers as the group headed to shooting practice. The gunman was killed in the shootout in Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border.

The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the officer had enlisted as a sleeper agent to have an opportunity to kill foreigners.

The only sound during the "dignified transfer" was of the wind blowing through the 747 jet engines as the flag-topped caskets, called transfer cases, were lowered to the ground. Teams of white-gloved pallbearers carried each casket to a waiting truck. Fathers, mothers wives and other family of five of the soldiers traveled to Dover for Wednesday's return.

The dead are Sgt. Barry E. Jarvis of Tell City, Ind.; Pfc. Jacob A. Gassen of Beaver Dam, Wis.; Pvt. Buddy W. McLain of Mexico, Maine; Spec. Matthew W. Ramsey of Quartz Hill, Calif.; Pvt. Austin G. Staggs of Senoia, Ga., and Staff Sgt. Curtis A. Oakes of Athens, Ohio.

Marine Gen. James Cartwright, who is the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led a delegation of U.S. officials to pay respects. The unusually large group that flew from Washington included national security adviser Tom Donilon and several senior National Security Council advisers. Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy and Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey and several senior Pentagon officers also attended.

Their bodies were flown together from Germany to Dover Air Force Base, where they will be formally identified at an Air Force mortuary. Within days the dead will be returned to their families for burial.

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