Spc. John Pelham, 22, and Sgt. First Class Roberto Skelt, 41, were both killed in Kapisa province, Afghanistan on Wednesday. They both belonged to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group based out of Fort Bragg, N.C.
The two men and their team were operating in a group of coalition troops in the district center in Tagab when two men dressed as Afghan National Army soldiers opened fire on them, killing Pelham and Skelt, said Pentagon spokesman Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby on Friday. The coalition troops immediately killed both attackers.
Simultaneously, Taliban forces attacked the district center with small-arms fire, rocket propelled grenades and mortar rounds. Kirby declined to comment on whether the incident was a coordinated attack.
The International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, is not aware of any civilian casualties from the attack. It is currently conducting a follow-up joint investigation.
Kirby cautioned Friday against assuming the two original attackers were ANA simply because they were wearing the uniform.
The Long War Journal has compiled and analyzed the instance of green on blue attacks in Afghanistan, which spiked in 2012 to 44, following just 16 in 2011. There were 13 in 2013, and only one recorded this year as of Feb. 13.
There have been 142 coalition deaths from such attacks since 2008, and 163 coalition casualties.
U.S. Army Special Forces, also known as "green berets" due to their signature headgear, are one of the foremost branches of the U.S. military's special operations community. They are primarily tasked with infiltrating hostile countries and assembling guerrilla forces.