Fairbanks-based soldier killed in Afghanistan

FAIRBANKS - A 19-year-old Fort Wainwright soldier was killed Wednesday in Afghanistan when his unit struck an improvised explosive device, Army Alaska said in a statement this afternoon.

The Army identified the soldier as Pvt. Ryan J. Larson, of Friendship, Wis. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. Two other soldiers were injured, neither seriously, the release stated.

The attack occurred in Kandahar province. The Army statement gave no other details about the location of the attack.

Larson’s death was the third fatal attack on the Fairbanks-based Stryker brigade since its year-long deployment in Afghanistan began last month. The last of the brigade’s roughly 4,000 soldiers departed Fort Wainwright in mid-May.

The brigade has been assigned to Kandahar, Uruzgan and Zabul provinces, in southern and eastern Afghanistan. Zabul province borders Pakistan.

The first fatal attack on the Stryker brigade occurred May 15 in Zabul province and killed three of the brigade’s soldiers and a soldier from another unit when their armored vehicle struck an roadside bomb.

The second deadly attack on the brigade occurred June 2, also in Zabul province, and resulted in the death of one Stryker brigade soldier and the wounding of seven other personnel. That attack occurred when a vehicle struck a roadside bomb.