Fort Bragg airman killed in Afghanistan

Thursday, August 27, 2015
Staff Sergeant Forrest B. Sibley and Captain Matthew Roland
Staff Sergeant Forrest B. Sibley and Captain Matthew Roland
image courtesy U.S. Army

FORT BRAGG (WTVD) -- A Fort Bragg airman was among two U.S. special operations service members killed in Afghanistan Wednesday.

Staff Sergeant Forrest B. Sibley, 31, was shot and killed at a vehicle checkpoint near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan. He served with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron at Pope Army Airfield. A Florida-based airman, Captain Matthew Roland was also killed in the attack. He belonged to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron.

Defense officials said two people wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on the airmen. The shooters were shot and killed by NATO service members who returned fire.

"The losses of Matt and Forrest are a terrible blow to everyone who knew them," said Col. Wolfe Davidson, 24th Special Operations Wing commander in a release. "These two combat controllers were incredible warriors who not only volunteered to join our nation's Special Operations Forces, but earned their way to the tip of the spear in defense of our nation."

Sibley served as a combat controller with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron. The four-time Bronze medal recipient had deployed four times in seven years.

In a release, defense officials said both men were military qualified static line jumpers, free fall jumpers, combat scuba divers and qualified in joint terminal attack control.

"The risks that these men and their teammates endured in combat and in training are all too well known to the Special Tactics community, but it does not make this great loss any easier to bear," Davidson said. "We will honor Matt and Forrest for the legacy they left behind, embrace their families as our own, and thank them eternally for their ultimate sacrifice for American freedom."

Sibley is survived by his parents.

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