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Sailor captured by Taliban in Afghanistan served on San Diego ship in 2008

July 27, 2010 |  2:41 pm


The sailor believed to have been captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan served on a San Diego-based ship in 2008 as a culinary specialist, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove, 25, of Renton, Wash., is a recalled reservist serving in Afghanistan. He disappeared Friday in Logar province, south of Kabul. 

The U.S. military has launched a massive air and ground search for Newlove and is offering a $20,000 reward for information.

Along with identifying Newlove, the Pentagon also confirmed the death of Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin McNeley, who was in the vehicle with Newlove that apparently came under insurgent fire.

McNeley, whose father is a fire official in the northern San Diego County city of Encinitas, was assigned to Assault Craft Unit One in Coronado before deploying to Afghanistan. His body was recovered  "after an extensive search," the Pentagon said. His hometown is listed as Wheatridge, Colo.

Cmdr. Andrew Amidon, commanding officer of Assault Craft Unit One, praised McNeley as "a hardworking, dedicated sailor who always sought out tough assignments."

Newlove and McNeley were "individual augmentees" assigned to war-zone duties outside their specialties. The Navy has 6,500 individual augmentees in Afghanistan and 2,800 in Iraq.

In 2008, the New Orleans, an amphibious assault ship, deployed to the Persian Gulf.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove receives a promotion from Vice Adm. Bill Gortney on June 4. Credit: U.S. Navy