The U.S. Army general killed in one of the bloodiest insider attacks of the long Afghanistan war had ties to Massachusetts.

Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene served from 2009 to 2011 as senior commander of the Army's Natick Soldier Systems Center, which develops equipment.

When he was killed Tuesday, Greene was involved in preparing Afghan forces for the departure of U.S.-coalition troops at the end of this year.

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, a retired National Guard colonel, calls Greene "a good man, a great leader and a mentor to me and all who knew him." Brown is a Republican Senate candidate in New Hampshire.

Greene said in an Army public relations interview as he left Natick he valued the patriotic heritage of Massachusetts, where his parents grew up. Greene was a native of Albany, New York.