San Diego – The Department of Defense announced today that Petty Officer Justin McNeley, 30, of Wheatridge, Colo., died from wounds sustained from an incident that occurred July 23, 2010 in Logar Province, Afghanistan. His body was recovered Sunday after an extensive search by coalition forces after he and another Sailor failed to report to their destination Friday. McNeley was on a Global Support Assignment (GSA) supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
“The deepest sympathy of the entire Navy is with the family and friends of Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin McNeley,” said Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations. “We appreciate all the coalition forces have done to bring our shipmate home, and we know they continue to do everything they can in the search for Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove, who remains missing. I remain extremely proud of the thousands of U.S. Navy Sailors serving on the ground in Afghanistan today, and the tens of thousands who have deployed to Afghanistan during the past nine years.”
Prior to reporting to his GSA in Afghanistan, McNeley was assigned to Assault Craft Unit One (ACU-1) in Coronado, Calif. “Petty Officer McNeley was a valued member of our ACU-1 family for more than two and half years,” said Cmdr. Andrew Amidon, Commanding Officer ACU-1. “He was a hardworking, dedicated Sailor who always sought out tough assignments. He will be missed by all who knew him.”
There are approximately 6,500 Navy Sailors serving on the ground in Afghanistan and nearly 2,800 Sailors serving in Iraq. They perform a variety of missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, including: special forces; medical; construction; explosive ordinance disposal; and serve as individual augmentees to perform critical missions in a variety of locations.
For further information contact Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet at 619-929-7444.