We Remember… In Honor and Remembrance of Kokomo’s Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell

Two Yuma-based Marines killed over the weekend in Afghanistan have been identified as Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible and Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell.

Raible, 40, of Huntingdon, Pa., was the commanding officer of Marine Attack Squadron 211, while Atwell, 27, of Kokomo, Ind., was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13. Both were part of Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.

“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,” said Brig. Gen. Steven W. Busby, commanding general, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and loved ones of those brave Marines. We will honor their memories andcontinue to support our Marines and Sailors still in the fight and their loved ones here at home.”

Raible commissioned in the Marine Corps May 21, 1995 and served as an AV-8B Harrier pilot. He deployed previously in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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 October 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.

According to a report from NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the attack was well-coordinated. Six AV-8B Harrier jets were destroyed and two were badly damaged, according to the ISAF.  In addition, three refueling stations were destroyed and six soft-skin aircraft hangars were damaged.

Eight military members and one civilian contractor were wounded. Their injuries were reported as non-life-threatening.

“The insurgents appeared to be well equipped, trained and rehearsed,” ISAF Public Affairs said in a release.

Fifteen insurgents breached the perimeter of Camp Bastion in Helmand Province at about 10 p.m. (Afghanistan time) Friday and attacked the flight line with automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and suicide bomb vests, according to ISAF. They organized into three teams and penetrated at one point in the perimeter fence.

Coalition personnel returned fire and killed all but one of the known insurgents. The surviving insurgent was taken into custody and is receiving medical care.


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