Soldier, Airman identified as those killed during attack in Iraq

(Courtesy photo by the Roberts family/US Army)

Two American men -one belonging to the US Army and the other a member of the US Air Force- have been identified as the individuals killed during a rocket attack carried out against a US base in Iraq.

Army Spc. Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias of California and Air Force Staff Sgt. Marshal D. Roberts of Oklahoma have been ID’d as the two Americans killed, with British Army Lance Corporal Brodie Gillon being the third fatality in the incident.

The attack took place at Camp Taji in Iraq, where elements of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Air Cavalry Brigade and the 219th Engineering Installation Squadron of the Oklahoma Air National Guard’s 138th Fighter Wing were located.

The three men were given honorable mention by the commander of the Combined Joint Task Force- Operation Inherent Resolve, the task force responsible for combating the Islamic State.

“The international military coalition is capable and credible because of warriors like Juan, Brodie, and Marshal,” said Lt. Gen. Pat White. “They volunteered to serve the United States and United Kingdom to improve their lives and help keep the world free from ISIS terrorism. Our fallen comrades have a legacy that will never be forgotten.”

Roberts enlisted in May of 2014, and is the first Oklahoma Air National Guardsman to be killed in action since 9/11.

“Oklahomans all across the state mourn the loss of Staff Sgt. Roberts,” Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said in a statement. “Today serves as a reminder of the many brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day to defend our state and country. Our prayers are with Staff Sgt. Roberts’ friends and family during this time, and the state is prepared to offer any support possible.”

Mendez Covarrubias enlisted in 2018 and was a Signal Support Systems Specialist.

“The regiment and his fellow Soldiers are grieving the loss of a true warrior,” said Lt. Col. Adam S. Camarano, the Soldier’s commander. “Command Sergeant Major Travis Eicher and I would like to express our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Specialist Mendez Covarrubias. His loss is felt across our formation and he will not be forgotten.”

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