(North County Times) – Two Marines assigned to a unit headquartered at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station unit, but based in Yuma, Ariz., have been identified as victims of an insurgent attack on the primary Marine Corps base in Afghanistan, military officials said Monday.
The Pentagon said in a terse statement that Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible, 40, of Huntingdon, Pa., and Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell, 27, of Kokomo, Ind., died in the Friday attack.
Raible was the commander officer of a Harrier squadron.
The two were among eight troops killed over the last three days.
He and Atwell died when Camp Bastion in the Helmand province came under attack by insurgents.
Officials said the attacking insurgents wore U.S. Army uniforms when they assaulted the base, killing the two Marines, wounding nine other people and destroying six Harrier fighter jets.
Fourteen insurgents were killed. The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack and said it was revenge for the video insulting Prophet Muhammad, according to an Associated Press report.
Raible, a pilot, was a member of Marine Attack Squadron 211, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing headquartered at San Diego’s Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.
Atwell was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
Miramar’s commander issued a statement praising the men’s service.
“The deaths of Lt. Col. Chris ‘Otis’ Raible and Sgt. Bradley Atwell are a stark reminder of the selfless service and extraordinary sacrifices made by our Marines and sailors and their families each and every day,” Brig. Gen. Steven W. Busby, commanding general, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and loved ones of those brave Marines.”
Raible was commissioned into the Marine Corps on May 21, 1995, and served as an AV-8B Harrier pilot. He had previous combat assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Air Medal-Strike/Flight (numeral 10), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (second award), Air Medal-Individual Action, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal (second award), and NATO Service Medal-International Security Assistance Force.
Atwell enlisted in the Marine Corps on Oct. 17, 2005, and served as an electrical systems technician.
His personal awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (second award), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and NATO Service Medal-International Security Assistance Force.