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Navy explosives expert from California first U.S. death in battle for Mosul

By Amy R. Connolly
Navy explosives expert from California first U.S. death in battle for Mosul
The U.S. Navy identified Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan as the first U.S. casualty in the offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State in Iraq. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy identified Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan as the first U.S. casualty in the offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State.

Finan, 34 and a California native, died as a result of an improvised bomb blast near the northern Iraqi city on Thursday. He was assigned to the Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit, officials said. He leaves behind a wife and 7-year-old son.

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"The entire Navy Expeditionary Combat Command family offers our deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and loved ones of the sailor we lost," Rear Adm. Brian Brakke, commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command/NECC Pacific, said.

Finan was part of Operation Inherent Resolve, which is aimed at destroying the militant group, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, in Iraq and Syria.

U.S. Rep. Scott Peters of San Diego expressed his condolences and said, "Chief Petty Officer Jason Finan is a hero who represents the best of San Diego, the best of our special operations community, and the best of America – he will not be forgotten."

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