Navy SEAL killed in Iraq identified

The Navy SEAL killed in Erbil, Iraq on Tuesday has been identified as Arizona native Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Charlie “C-4” Keating IV.

The 31-year-old SEAL is the third American combat casualty since the US returned to Iraq in an advisory role around the summer of 2014.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a Tuesday statement that Keating was working in an advisory role to Kurdish Peshmerga forces when he was killed, the result of a “coordinated and complex” attack by nearly a hundred ISIS fighters north of Mosul.

Charles Keating

“This sad news is a reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face every day in the ongoing fight to destroy ISIL and end the threat the group poses to the United States and the rest of the world. Our coalition will honor this sacrifice by dealing (ISIS) a lasting defeat,” Cook said.

According to CNN, Keating came from a long history of service members, dating back to World War I. His grandfather -Charles Keating Jr.- was a Naval pilot in World War II.

Charles Keating 2
Charles Keating IV with his father Charles Keating III (right) and his grandfather Charles Keating Jr. (left).

Keating was well-remembered by his teachers and classmates at Arcadia High School in Phoenix, describing him as a strong and determined individual who excelled at athletics.

High school track and cross-country coach Robert Wayne Reniewicki said that when the September 11th attacks occurred, Keating made the decision then to one day become a SEAL.

“It didn’t surprise me when he said he wanted to be a Navy SEAL,” Reniewicki told CNN.”A lot of guys said they wanted to go in service to serve their country that day.”

Keating -who graduated SEAL training in 2008 and was based in California- was killed around 9:33 AM AST from a gunshot wound, according to defense officials. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter confirmed that “it is a combat death” on Tuesday.

Charles Keating 3

While casualties have been sustained since special operations and support troops were re-introduced into the region, experts say that the presences has had a devastating effect on ISIS leadership.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey ordered all state flags to fly half-mast from sunrise to sunset today in honor of Keating.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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