Pentagon identifies soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — Two American soldiers killed in Afghanistan this week were identified as sergeants originally from central New York and Germany, the Pentagon said Thursday.

Army Master Sgt. Michael B. Riley, 32, and Sgt. James G. Johnston, 24, died Tuesday in combat in the Afghan province of Uruzgan,officials said.

Riley, originally from Heilbronn, Germany, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Fort Carson, Colorado.

The two U.S. service members were on a joint U.S.- Afghan patrol when they were fatally shot, a defense official told NBC News.

"It is with a heavy heart that we learn of the passing of Master Sgt. Micheal Riley in Afghanistan," Col. Lawrence G. Ferguson, the commander of the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), said in a statement Thursday. “We will honor his service and sacrifice as we remain steadfast in our commitment to our mission.”

Johnston, originally from Trumansburg, New York, came from the 79th Ordnance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), 71st Ordnance Group, stationed in Fort Hood, Texas.

Johnston's family plans to collect his remains at Dover Air Force Base and have him buried in Texas, NBC affiliate WETM in Elmira, New York, reported.

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People return to Afghanistan city liberated from ISIS
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People return to Afghanistan city liberated from ISIS
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: Men pose for a portrait outside a shop on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SURKH ROD, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 14: Children of families displaced by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria -Khorasan (ISIS-K) play at their current home on July 14, 2017, in Surkh Rod District, Afghanistan. The families moved ten months ago from the Pachir wa Agam District when IS took control of their town. Military operations by Afghan and United States forces are currently underway to remove IS fighters from Nangarhar Province in Eastern Afghanistan. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: A man has his haircut in a barber shop on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: Children play with a wheel barrow on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: A boy walks through buildings damaged from fighting on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: A member of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) poses for a portrait at his outpost on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SURKH ROD, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 14: Children of families displaced by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria -Khorasan (ISIS-K) play at their current home on July 14, 2017, in Surkh Rod District, Afghanistan. The families moved ten months ago from the Pachir wa Agam District when IS took control of their town. Military operations by Afghan and United States forces are currently underway to remove IS fighters from Nangarhar Province in Eastern Afghanistan. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SURKH ROD, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 14: Anwar Pachir, whose family was displaced by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) walks through a storm outside his current home on July 14, 2017, in Surkh Rod District, Afghanistan. Pachir brough his family ten months ago from the Pachir wa Agam District when IS took control of their town. Military operations by Afghan and United States forces are currently underway to remove IS fighters from Nangarhar Province in Eastern Afghanistan. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SURKH ROD, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 14: Children who were displaced by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) stand outside their current home during a storm on July 14, 2017, in Surkh Rod District, Afghanistan. Families arrived from the Pachir wa Agam District when IS took control of their town. Military operations by Afghan and United States forces are currently underway to remove IS fighters from Nangarhar Province in Eastern Afghanistan. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: Men restock a pharmacy which had been closed for two years on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: A boy rides his bike past a destroyed car on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: A man sells tomatos on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: Men walk past buildings damaged from fighting on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SHADAL BAZAAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 15: A man prays inside a building damaged from fighting on July 15, 2017 in Shadal Bazaar, Afghanistan. People are slowly returning to the recently liberated area, which had previously been a front line of fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan (ISIS-K) in Achin District of Nangarhar Province. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
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