The Department of Defense says a Ft. Hood soldier is among those killed while engaging the enemy in Iraq on March 11th.
Army Spc. Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias was assigned to 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Brigade. He was 27-years-old and from Hanford, California.
Covarrubias was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve when an Iranian-backed Shia militia group in Iraq attacked Camp Taji.
Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, provided more details saying the group launched about thirty 107 mm rockets against the Iraqi training base. Up to 18 hit the area housing coalition forces who are involved in the mission to train, advise and assist.
Also killed in the attack was Air Force Staff Sgt. Marshal D. Roberts, a 28-year-old from Owasso, Oklahoma.
Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper said officials in Iraq know who launched the attack and that group will not escape justice.
The attack follows another battle near Kirkuk earlier this week that killed two U.S. Marines.
“Specialist Mendez was a cherished signal support systems specialist in 1-227th Aviation Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division,” said Lt. Col. Adam S. Camarano, commander, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. “The regiment and his fellow Soldiers are grieving the loss of a true warrior. Command Sergeant Major Travis Eicher and I would like to express our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Specialist Mendez Covarrubias. His loss is felt across our formation and he will not be forgotten.”
Mendez Covarrubias deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in October 2019.
“Specialist Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias earns our greatest honor for his combat service and sacrifice on the mission to, permanently, defeat ISIS in Iraq,” said Lt. Gen. Pat White, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve and III Corps commanding general, said. “On behalf of the Phantom Corps and Fort Hood, Texas, community, Emma and I send our deepest condolences to Juan’s family, friends, and 1st Cavalry Division troopers during this difficult time of mourning. Specialist Mendez was a warrior who will forever be remembered.”
Mendez Covarrubias’ awards and decorations include the Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Ribbon and Army Service Ribbon.