Fort Leavenworth officer dies during Afghanistan bombing
A Fort Leavenworth officer is among the dead in a bombing that struck his military convoy Tuesday in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The Pentagon said five U.S. soldiers died in the suicide bombing, including Col. John M. McHugh, 46, of Newark, N.J., who was assigned to the U.S. Army Battle Command Training Program at Fort Leavenworth. A Canadian soldier also was among the dead, which numbered 18.
The Associated Press called it the deadliest attack on NATO in the Afghan capital this year.
Fort Leavenworth said McHugh was serving as chief of operations Group A with the Battle Command Training Program. He was on a NATO key leader training mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
McHugh graduated in 1986 from the U.S. Military Academy and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in Army Aviation. After Rotary Wing (flight school) and UH-60 aviator courses, McHugh was stationed in Nurnberg, Germany, with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. He served as a platoon leader with S Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd ACR and deployed to Operation Desert Storm as the regimental aviation officer.
Upon graduating from the Aviation Advanced Course, McHugh was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo., as a flight operations officer for 4-4 General Support Aviation Battalion and commander, A Company, 4-4 GSAB.
From 1998 until 1999, McHugh was the executive officer for 1-13th Aviation Regiment, Fort Rucker, Ala. From 2001 until 2002, he was the executive officer for 3-58th Aviation Regiment, Giebelstadt, Germany.
McHugh served in multiple training assignments. From 1994 to 1996, he was assigned as a UH-60 assault company trainer at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. From 1999 to 2001, he was a maneuver observer trainer with Operations Group C, Battle Command Training Program, Fort Leavenworth, and from 2002 to 2004 he served as the operations officer/aviation operations trainer for the Falcon Observer/Controller Team, Hohenfels, Germany.
From 2004 to 2006, McHugh commanded 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment at Fort Rucker, Ala., and was responsible for providing air traffic control for the U.S. Army Flight School. McHugh had a master’s degree in administration from West Virginia Public University. Following command, McHugh served as executive officer for the Army Air Traffic Services Command and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the deputy commander of the 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group. McHugh assumed duties as the chief, Operations Group Alpha, in June 2009 upon graduation from the U.S. Army War College.
Survivors include his wife, five children and a granddaughter.