Second female 'Rough Riders' soldier killed

Richard Mauer

A Fort Richardson-based soldier, Pfc. Renee Sinkler, was killed in a nighttime attack on her vehicle in northwest Afghanistan this week, the Army said Friday.

Sinkler, 23, from Chadbourn, N.C., was the second female soldier and third overall from the 109th Transportation Co., the "Rough Riders," to die in combat since the 150-soldier unit deployed in July. A gunner for the mission, she was in the exposed turret of an armored MRAP vehicle when it was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, the Army said.

Three other soldiers in the vehicle were uninjured.

Sinkler was married. She arrived at Fort Richardson in January 2010 after joining the Army in August 2009. Her family has been notified of her death, the Army said.

Sinkler, a motor transport operator, was in a convoy en route to Forward Operating Base Killaghey in Baghlan Province on Wednesday when the attack occurred about 11:40 p.m. Afghanistan time. She died less than four hours later.

The 109th Transportation Co. is part of the 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, at Fort Richardson. The transportation company deployed in July for a 12-month tour.

The two other members of the 109th killed during this deployment were victims of a roadside bomb in September: Pfc. Jaysine Petree, 19, of Guam, and Pfc. William Dawson, 20, of Mississippi.

In all, four women soldiers from Alaska bases have been killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The first was 1st Lt. Jaime Lynn Campbell, 25, a helicopter pilot in the 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment of the Alaska Army National Guard. Originally from Ephrata, Wash., she died Jan. 7, 2006, between Mosul and Tal Afar, Iraq, when her Blackhawk helicopter crashed. Three other Alaska guardsmen died in that crash.

A year later, Sgt. Trista L. Moretti, 27, an intelligence officer from South Plainfield, N.J., was killed in a rocket or mortar attack on the sprawling headquarters base in Iraq of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry, on June 25, 2007. She served in the 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion of the 4-25th.

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