Army Identifies Soldier Who Died in Iraq

Spc. Ryan Riley (U.S. Army photo)
Spc. Ryan Riley (U.S. Army photo)

The Army has released the identity of a soldier who died Saturday in a non-combat incident while supporting operations in Iraq.

Spc. Ryan Dennis Orin Riley, 22, from Richmond, Kentucky, died in an unspecified incident in Ninawa province, officials said Sunday. The incident is under investigation, they said.

Riley, a fire control specialist, was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, said Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for the 101st.

The deployment to Iraq, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the ongoing mission to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria, was Riley's first, and began in December, O'Donnell said. He enlisted in October 2016 and was promoted to specialist in October 2018.

Riley's awards include the Combat Action Badge.

Riley is the fifth U.S. service member to die while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in 2019, and the third to die in a non-combat incident, according to numbers maintained by the Defense Department.

"We are deeply saddened by Ryan's passing," Col. Derek Thomson, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) commander, said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to his family as together we mourn the loss of our brother-in-arms. As we grieve this tragic loss, we will also draw strength from his memory as his mates continue to build the capacity of the Iraqi Army and enable the defeat of ISIS."

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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