18.06.11 Soldier Dies in Somalia

June 11, 2018


Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Conrad

26-year-old U.S. Army soldier killed in action in Somalia.

What To Know

Staff Sgt. Alex Conrad

  • AZ native – joined Army in 2010.
  • Deployed to Afghanistan twice.
  • Recently completed French language course – assigned as intel noncommissioned officer.
  • First fatality of a U.S. service member in Africa in 2018; 14th fatality overall this year.
  • 4 other soldiers wounded.

Why Somalia?

Why Is U.S. In Somalia?

  • al-Shabab:A al Qaeda-affiliated group continues to grow in power in East Africa.
  • U.S. soldiers working with local forces when attacked. Their mission: “to clear al-Shabab terrorists from contested areas, liberate villages from al-Shabab control, and establish a permanent combat outpost” (DOD).

Why al-Shabab Matters:

  • al-Shabab = “The Youth”
  • Terrorist Islamist group; wants to rule with Sharia law.
  • Attacks/murders innocent civilians in Kenya, Somalia & East Africa.
  • U.S. recently expanded operations againstA al-Shabab due to concerns the group will gain more territory & power in Africa and launch attacks on Americans, either overseas or in U.S.

"US Special Operations Forces often work in the shadows in Africa. The public is largely unaware of Special Operations on the continent until casualties are taken." – The Long War Journal.

by Jenna Lee,