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Pentagon Identifies Sailor Killed Supporting Mosul Offensive

Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan. Courtesy of the U.S. Navy
Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan. Courtesy of the U.S. Navy

The Defense Department has released the name of a decorated sailor killed in an improvised explosive device blast in northern Iraq.

Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan, 34, of Anaheim, California, died Thursday of wounds sustained in the blast, officials said. Finan was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Three out of Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.

Finan joined the Navy in 2003. He had been awarded Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Naval Parachutist and Diver insignia and had received many decorations, including the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat V device and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, according to Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, a spokeswoman for Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.

According to a Navy announcement, Finan was serving in an advisory capacity to Iraqi forces fighting against Islamic State militants in Iraq at the time of his death.

He is the first service member to die in support of the Mosul offensive, assisting Iraqi Security Assistance Force efforts to take back the northern population hub from Islamic State control.

Finan died four days after the offensive began.

"The entire Navy Expeditionary Combat Command family offers our deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and loved ones of the Sailor we lost," Rear Adm. Brian Brakke, commander of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command/NECC Pacific, said in a statement.

Officials have said more than 100 U.S. military advisers and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers have traveled with attacking forces in support of the assault on Mosul, to guide airstrikes and serve in an advisory role.

The announcement came a day after the Pentagon identified the name of a U.S. soldier and American civilian killed in an insider attack in Afghanistan. Sgt. Douglas J. Riney, 26, of Fairview, Illinois, and Michael G. Sauro, 40, of McAlester, Oklahoma, died in Kabul of wounds received from encountering hostile enemy forces.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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