Decorated Hero, Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler Killed in Iraq in Op Against ISIS
The U.S. soldier killed during a Wednesday raid on an Islamic State-controlled prison in northern Iraq was Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler, of Roland Oklahoma, the Department of Defense said Friday.
Wheeler, 39, was stationed at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
He died after receiving enemy fire during the raid, the Defense Department said.
Wheeler is the first American military casualty in Iraq since the U.S. began its campaign against the Islamic State there in 2014.
Wheeler joined the Army as an infantryman. He served in the 75th Ranger Regiment, deploying three times to support combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, before being assigned to USASOC headquarters. He deployed 11 times after that to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to information released by USASOC.
U.S. special operations forces offered support on the ground and in the air to Kurdish peshmerga forces and rescued 70 hostages and captured five Islamic State militants during the operation. Four peshmerga fighters were also wounded in the operation.