By Debbie Gregory.
U.S. Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV was killed during a rescue mission north of Mosul. Keating was part of the Quick Reaction Force team sent in to rescue U.S. military advisors who were under attack by 120 plus ISIS fighters. The advisors and Kurdish Peshmerga forces were overwhelmed by a surprise ISIS offensive in Northern Iraq.
The attack took place near the town of Tel Askuf, about two miles away from the front lines. The team was able to evacuate the advisors, but Keating was struck by direct fire. In spite of the fact that he was received medical attention within an hour of his injury, his wound was not survivable, according to coalition spokesman Col. Steve Warren
A 2004 graduate of Arcadia High School in Phoenix, AZ, the star athlete was the grandson of prominent financier and World War II pilot Charles Keating Jr.
His decorations included: the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, National Defense Medal and Rifle and Pistol Expert ribbons.
The 31-year-old Special Warfare Operator 1st Class was on his third tour in Iraq. Keating joined the Navy in 2007 and graduated from the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in 2008. His death serves as a reminder that even in an advisory role, our troops face imminent danger.
Warren said there were also Peshmerga casualties in addition to Keating, but did not have the figures on hand. He did say it was the largest clash between ISIS and collation forces at least since December.
We send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of this American hero, and thank them for their family’s sacrifice.