Fort Meade sailor among Americans killed in suicide bomb attack in Syria

Navy Chief Petty Officer Shannon M. Kent (inset) was killed along with three other Americans who were at a restaurant popular with U.S. forces when the ISIS attack occurred on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON — A Navy cryptologic technician based at Fort Meade was among four Americans killed in a suicide bomb attack claimed by the Islamic State group in Syria this week, the Pentagon said.

Officials identified her as Chief Shannon M. Kent, 35, from upstate New York.


“She was a rock star, an outstanding Chief Petty Officer, and leader to many in the Navy Information Warfare Community,” said Cmdr. Joseph Harrison, the commanding officer of Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, where Kent was assigned after the command was established in August.

Also killed in the attack were Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Fla., who was based at Fort Campbell, Ky., and Scott A. Wirtz, from St. Louis, Mo., a civilian with the Defense Intelligence Agency who was a former Navy Seal. The Pentagon has not yet identified the fourth casualty, also a civilian.


The four were killed in the northern Syrian town of Manbij on Wednesday. The attack, which also wounded three U.S. troops, was the deadliest assault on U.S. troops in Syria since American forces went into the country in 2015.

Kent enlisted in the Navy in December 2003, and graduated from boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill., in February 2004.

She previously had been assigned to the Navy Information Operations Command in Fort Gordon, Ga.; the Navy Special Warfare Support Activity 2, Norfolk, Va.; the Personnel Resource Development Office, Washington, D.C., and the Navy Information Operations Command at Fort Meade.

“Chief Kent’s drive, determination and tenacity were infectious. Although she has left us way too soon, she will not be forgotten, and her legacy will live on with us,” said CWA 66 Command Senior Enlisted Leader, Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collections) Denise Vola in a statement.