FORT DRUM, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Army officials say a soldier from Texas serving with the 10th Mountain Division’s Louisiana-based brigade combat team has been killed by an improvised explosive device in Iraq.
Officials at Fort Drum in northern New York say 20-year-old Spc. Alexander Missildine, of Tyler, Texas, was killed Sunday when an IED detonated near his convoy.
This is the 13th American combat death since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria and the 7th since the beginning of the year.
Missildine served with the division’s 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Polk, Louisiana. The division’s other two brigade combat teams are based at Fort Drum.
He joined the Army in July 2015. After training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, Missildine arrived at Fort Polk in December 2015. He deployed with his unit last month to Iraq.
Missildine’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with one campaign star, National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.
He’s survived by his mother, father and step-parents.
According to Reuters, Iraqi forces, backed by the U.S.-led coalition, began an offensive on Sept. 21 to dislodge Islamic State from Hawija.
Islamic State militants set fire to three oil wells near Hawija, west of the oil city of Kirkuk, one of two areas of Iraq still under their control, military and oil officials said.
Islamic State, the ultra-hardline Sunni Muslim group, has lost control of all the oilfields it once held in the north of Iraq.