Sgt. Diego D. Pongo Biography, Sgt. Diego D. Pongo Wiki
Diego D. Pongo, 34, of Simi Valley, Calif., was killed in northern Iraq while supporting Iraqi Security Forces, the Pentagon statement said.
The Pentagon identified two North Carolina-based Marine Raiders who were killed in Iraq on Sunday as part of the ongoing campaign against ISIS, the Defense Department announced on Tuesday.
Capt. Moises A. Navas, 34, of Germantown, Md. and Gunnery Sgt. Diego D. Pongo, 34, of Simi Valley, Calif., were killed in northern Iraq while supporting Iraqi Security Forces, the Pentagon statement said.
Both Navas and Pongo were assigned to the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, part of the Marine Forces Special Operations Command out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.
This is the full statement from Operation Inherent Resolve: “Two U.S. service members were killed by enemy forces while advising and accompanying Iraqi Security Forces during a mission to eliminate an ISIS terrorist stronghold in a mountainous area of north-central Iraq, March 8.” The statement concludes, saying “The names of the service members are withheld pending next of kin notification, in accordance with the U.S.
Department of Defense statement
On March 10, Lt. Gen. Pat White, the Commanding General of Combined Joint Task Force for Operation Inherent Resolve, released the names of the two deceased. He said “On behalf of the military Coalition, I send my deepest condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones of U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Moises A. Navas and Gunnery Sgt. Diego D. Pongo.”
He continued, “Their courage to confront the evil of ISIS while advising Iraqi Security Forces, in close combat is a testament to the Coalition’s steadfast commitment to achieving our goal to defeat ISIS permanently. Moises and Diego made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedoms and protect our way of life; they will not be forgotten.”
he following is the complete March 10, 2020 statement from the Pentagon.
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Marines who were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
The following Marines died March 8, 2020, while supporting Iraqi Security Forces in north-central Iraq.
Gunnery Sgt. Diego D. Pongo, 34, of Simi Valley, California.
Capt. Moises A. Navas, 34, of Germantown, Maryland.
Both Marines were assigned to 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Sgt. Diego D. Pongo Death
Several news reports said Navas and Pongo were part of an operation that raided an ISIS cave network that was embedded in a mountain in northern Iraq.
“The operation Sunday required the coalition to dispatch reinforcement forces to recover the remains of the Americans who were killed from the caves, said Army Col. Myles Caggins, a U.S. military spokesman. It took nearly six hours to do so, he said,” The Washington Post reported.
The Iraqi military claimed the operation resulted in the death of 25 ISIS fighters, nine tunnels, and a training camp were destroyed.
The deaths of Navas and Pongo are the first Raiders killed in Iraq since Gunnery Sgt. Scott Koppenhafer was slain in August in the Ninewah province.