The Pentagon identified the 13 U.S. troops killed in the horrific suicide bombing at Afghanistan’s Kabul airport, which also claimed the lives of at least 170 Afghans.
Nine of the 11 Marines killed while they secured the Abbey gate at the perimeter around the Hamid Karzai International Airport came from the same 2nd Battalion/1st Marine Division unit at Camp Pendleton.
A Navy corpsman from Ohio had also deployed from the Southern California Marine base.
An Army soldier was also among the dead, while 18 other U.S. service members were wounded in Thursday’s bombing.
The Department of Defense confirmed that the 13 service members were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. The incident is under investigation but the bombing was blamed on Afghanistan’s offshoot of the Islamic State group, which fiercely hates the Taliban as much as the West.
Intelligence agencies had picked up signals that Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) was preparing to unleash carnage days before two suicide bombers took the lives of more than 100 Afghans and American soldiers outside Kabul airport.
In response, President Joe Biden vowed to hunt down the attackers and instructed his military leaders to draw up plans against the group, which is also known as ISIS-K.
The following military personnel died Aug. 26, 2021, as the result of an enemy attack while supporting non-combatant evacuation operations in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The deceased are:
- Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts.
- Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California.
- Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California.
- Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska.
- Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California.
- Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee.
- Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio.