Special forces soldier killed in Afghanistan identified by Pentagon

A soldier from Edgewood serving in Afghanistan died Saturday after being wounded in action, according to the military.

Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, a 1998 Joppatowne High School graduate, was a member of the Army’s Special Forces. The 37-year-old Edgewood resident died “of injuries sustained when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire during combat operations,” according to a statement on the Department of Defense website.

Staff Sgt. De Alencar was a member of the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) assigned to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, according to the Defense Department.

He had been working with Afghan troops to fight insurgents affiliated with the Islamic State, or ISIS, according to a message posted on the Twitter feed of the Resolute Support Mission.

The NATO-led Resolute Support is designed to support Afghan security forces, according to the command’s website.

“On behalf of all U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, I offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of our fallen comrade,” Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and Resolute Support, said in a written statement issued Sunday by the U.S. forces command, headquartered in the capital Kabul.

“We will always remember our fallen comrades and commit ourselves to deliver on their sacrifice,” Nicholson continued.

Staff Sgt. De Alencar and the Afghan troops were operating in the Nangarhar province in the eastern part of the country.

His body was scheduled to return to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware at 6:45 p.m. Monday.

The Army did not release the staff sergeant’s name until about 4 p.m. Monday. His next of kin had to be notified first, according to the statement from his command.