Pentagon identifies Colorado Marine killed in Iraq

Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer, 35, was killed in Iraq while supporting Operation Inherent Freedom. Photo by Gunnery St. Lynn Kinney/U.S. Marine Corps/

Aug. 12 (UPI) — The Pentagon has identified a Marine who was killed in combat Saturday in Iraq.

Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer, 35, of Mancos, Colo., was killed “after being engaged by enemy small arms fire,” the Department of Defense said in a statement Sunday. The incident is under investigation.

He is survived by his wife and two children.

“Our most sincere thoughts are with the family and teammates of Gunnery Sgt. Koppenhafer during this difficult time,” U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command said in a release, adding that it was providing support to his family.

Koppenhafer, a critical skills operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, was killed while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, a joint task force formed by the Department of Defense in October 2014 to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

On Saturday, Operation Inherent Resolve announced that a U.S. service member had died in Ninewah Province while advising and accompanying the Iraqi Security Forces during a planned operation.

Koppenhafer joined the Marine Corps in 2005 before spending 10 years as a MARSOC critical skills operator. He had completed three deployments and was named MARSOC’s 2018 Critical Skills Operator of the Year.


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