Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin Was Killed In Iraq /  March 2016

The Marine Corps has identified the North Carolina-based artilleryman killed in Saturday’s indirect fire attack in northern Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin, a 27-year-old field artilleryman with Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, was killed at about 9 a.m. Saturday when Islamic State group militants launched a rocket attack on a coalition base in Makhmur. Eight other Marines were injured in the attack on the newly established base, which is roughly 60 miles outside of Mosul.

Cardin was deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which sent a detachment of Marines to Makhmur to guard the base. The Marines were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S. military’s campaign against ISIS.

Cardin’s death is the second combat death since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve. Peter Cook, a Pentagon spokesman, said Saturday that “coalition teammates who will continue the fight against ISIL with resolve and determination,” using another acronym for the terror group.

In October, Army Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler was killed during a Delta Force raid on an ISIS prison compound, making him the first American military casualty in Iraq since November 2011.

The Makhmur base is home to the Ninevah Operations Center and serves as a launch pad for the Iraqi army’s anticipated offensive to retake Mosul from ISIS. In February, Iraqi officials announced they would deploy approximately 4,500 soldiers with its 15th division for the upcoming operation.

Makhmur was the site of an ISIS mustard gas attack last August by ISIS which sickened dozens of Kurdish troops. The attack was confirmed by U.S. military officials after shards of spent mortar shells tested positive for mustard gas.

Matthew L. Schehl covers training and education, recruiting, West Coast Marines, MARSOC, and operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East for Marine Corps Times. He can be reached at mschehl@marinecorpstimes.com.

MILITARYTIMES

U.S. Marine killed in Islamic State rocket attack on base in northern Iraq

Cardin, of Temecula, California, joined the Marine Corps in June 2006 and was based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He deployed to Iraq once before and to Afghanistan three times.

The day after the attack, the joint task force overseeing the fight against ISIS announced it was dispatching additional Marines from the 26th MEU to Iraq to join the roughly 3,700 U.S. troops already deployed there to fight ISIS.

Marine officials said in a statement Sunday that the service’s priority is to provide care to the families and loved ones of those affected by the attack.

“The loss of a service member greatly affects us all. This tragedy saddens II Marine Expeditionary Force and the 26th MEU.”

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