|Born||22 November 1975|
Roland, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Died||22 October 2015 39) (aged|
Kirkuk Province, Iraq
|Years of service||1995–2015|
|Battles/wars||Global War on Terrorism|
|Awards|| Silver Star |
Bronze Star (11, 4 with Valor)
Joshua Lloyd Wheeler (22 November 1975 – 22 October 2015) was a United States Army soldier who was killed in Iraq during Operation Inherent Resolve. He was a Master Sergeant assigned to the elite Delta Force, and was the first American service member killed in action as a result of enemy fire while fighting ISIS militants. He was also the first American to be killed in action in Iraq since November 2011.
Wheeler was a highly decorated service member, having earned 11 Bronze Star Medals including four with Valor Devices.He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the Purple Heart and the Medal of Patriotism.
Wheeler was born in Roland, Oklahoma. He graduated from Muldrow High School in Muldrow, Oklahoma in 1994.He was a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
Wheeler enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 1995 as an infantryman and completed basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia.He was then stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington and assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment until 1997 when he was assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Wheeler deployed three times in support of combat operations to Afghanistan and Iraq with the 75th Ranger Regiment. In 2004 Wheeler was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and was assigned to the United States Army Special Operations Command's Delta Force in which he was a team leader deploying 11 times to Afghanistan and Iraq in support of combat operations.
Wheeler was killed in the predawn hours of 22 October 2015 during Operation Inherent Resolve as a result of enemy small-arms fire sustained during a raid on an ISIS prison compound 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) North of the town of Hawija in Iraq's Kirkuk province. He was one of around 30 U.S. special operations soldiers who fought alongside Kurdish Counter-terrorism unit peshmerga forces. The operation secured the release of approximately 70 hostages, including more than 20 members of the Iraqi Security Forces, being held in the compound. Wheeler was directing the Kurdish attack on the prison and joined the fighting when those who had breached the compound came under fire inside. Reports stated that Wheeler ran toward the sound of the gunfire and that his actions along with those of one of his teammates ensured the success of the operation and protected those Kurdish fighters who had breached the compound. The Kurdistan Regional Government asked U.S. special operations forces to support an operation to free hostages that were being held inside the prison and were going to be executed. Information had been obtained which stated the hostages faced imminent execution and it was confirmed that graves had already been prepared for the hostages outside of the compound. The Kurdish government stated after the raid that none of the 15 Kurdish fighters who were the object of the operation were found and that none of the hostages freed were Kurdish. Four Kurdish peshmerga soldiers were wounded during the operation. Five ISIS militants were detained during the operation and approximately 20 were killed. On 11 September 2020, one of his teammates, then-SFC Thomas Payne, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that day, becoming the first living Delta Force recipient of the Medal of Honor and the first Medal of Honor recipient for Operation Inherent Resolve.
Wheeler lived in North Carolina with his four sons and wife, Ashley, who had given birth in August 2015 to his fourth son. His three older sons were from a previous marriage.Wheeler was a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Patriotism by the Cherokee Nation in July 2016.
At the time of his death Wheeler had been awarded the following awards and decorations, except for the Silver Star, the Purple Heart and the Medal of Patriotism, which were awarded posthumously.
|Valorous Unit Award with oak leaf cluster|
|National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star|
The 75th Ranger Regiment, also known as Army Rangers, is an elite special operations force that is a combat deployable unit in the United States Army Special Operations Command. The regiment is headquartered at Fort Benning, Georgia and is composed of a regimental headquarters company, a military intelligence battalion, a special troops battalion, and three Ranger battalions.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, born Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai, was an Iraqi terrorist and the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from 2014 until his death.
In response to rapid territorial gains made by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during the first half of 2014, and its universally condemned executions, reported human rights abuses and the fear of further spillovers of the Syrian Civil War, many states began to intervene against it in both the Syrian Civil War and the Iraqi Civil War. Later, there were also minor interventions by some states against ISIL-affiliated groups in Nigeria and Libya.
The American-led intervention in the Syrian Civil War refers to the United States-led support of the Syrian rebels and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) during the course of the Syrian Civil War, including Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), the active military operation led by the United States, and involving the militaries of the United Kingdom, France, Jordan, Turkey, Canada, Australia, and others against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Nusra Front since 2014. Since early 2017, the U.S. and its partners have also targeted the Syrian government and its allies via airstrikes and aircraft shoot-downs.
The 2014 rescue mission in Syria was an American led effort to locate and rescue hostages being held by ISIS forces. Plans to rescue the hostages were accelerated after the execution of journalist James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and Kayla Mueller by ISIS militants. A total of 14 hostages were held hostage by the IS at an undisclosed location. Though no soldiers were killed, the mission failed to locate and rescue the hostages.
An American-led intervention in Iraq started on 15 June 2014, when President Barack Obama ordered United States forces to be dispatched to the region, in response to offensives in Iraq conducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). At the invitation of the Iraqi government, American troops went to assess Iraqi forces and the threat posed by ISIL.
Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) is the U.S. military's operational name for the military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, including both the campaign in Iraq and the campaign in Syria, with a closely-related campaign in Libya. Since 18 September 2018, the U.S. Army's III Armored Corps has been responsible for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF—OIR). The campaign is primarily waged by American air forces in support of local allies, most prominently the Iraqi security forces and Syrian Democratic Forces. Combat ground troops, mostly special forces and artillery, have also been deployed, especially in Iraq. 75-80% of the airstrikes have been conducted by the military of the United States, with the other 20-25% by the United Kingdom, France, Turkey, Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.
Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) is the Joint Task Force established by the US-led international coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), set up by United States Army Central (ARCENT) to coordinate military efforts against ISIL (Da'esh). It is composed of military forces and personnel from over 30 countries. The stated aim of CJTF–OIR is to "degrade and destroy" ISIL. Its establishment by US Central Command was announced in December 2014, after it was set up to replace the ad hoc arrangements that had previously been established to coordinate operations following the rapid gains made by ISIL in Iraq in June. Formed in October 2014, its first "coalition integration conference" was held the first week of December 2014. Current operations are named Operation Inherent Resolve by the United States Department of Defense. Lieutenant General Robert "Pat" White is the current coalition commander.
The Kurdistan Region Security Council or KRSC is a high-level national security council in Kurdistan Region.
Abu Sayyaf is the nom de guerre of a senior leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who was described as overseeing gas and oil operations. United States authorities identified Abu Sayyaf's real name as Fathi Ben Awn Ben Jildi Murad al-Tunisi. Abu Sayyaf was killed on the night of May 15–16, 2015 while resisting capture during a United States Army Delta Force operation in eastern Syria.
The Mosul offensive (2015) was an offensive launched by Kurdish Peshmerga forces on 21 January 2015, with the objective of severing key ISIL supply routes to Mosul, Iraq, and to recapture neighboring areas around Mosul. The effort was supported by US-led coalition airstrikes. The Iraqi Army was widely expected to launch the planned operation to retake the actual city of Mosul in the Spring of 2015, but the offensive was postponed to October 2016, after Ramadi fell to ISIL in May 2015.
Nasrin As'ad Ibrahim, better known by the nom de guerreUmm Sayyaf, is the widow of Abu Sayyaf. She was captured in May 2015 by US Delta Force soldiers on the mission where they killed her husband, a suspected leader of the Islamic State.
This article contains a timeline of events from January 2015 to December 2015 related to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS). This article contains information about events committed by or on behalf of the Islamic State, as well as events performed by groups who oppose them.
This is the Military intervention against ISIL ground order of battle, which lists the American forces and allies aerial assets that have taken part in the Military intervention against ISIL between June 2014 and the present day.
The Mohmand Valley raid was a joint US/Afghan operation targeting an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - Khorasan Province (ISIL-KP) compound in the Achin District of Nangarhar Province, that lasted from the night of 26 April to the early morning hours of the 27th, 2017. The raid resulted in the deaths of two US Army Rangers from C and D Companies of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, and the death of Abdul Haseeb Logari, the leader of ISIL-KP, alongside several leaders, and up to 35 other militants according to The Pentagon.
On October 26–27, 2019, the United States conducted Operation Kayla Mueller, a military operation named after Kayla Mueller, that resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the then-leader and self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist organization. The operation took place in the outskirts of Barisha, Idlib Governorate, Syria. According to General Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) commander who oversaw the operation, Baghdadi killed himself along with two children when he detonated a suicide belt while seeking to evade the U.S. forces during the raid.
The American-led intervention in the Syrian Civil War refers to the United States-led support of Syrian opposition and the Federation of Northern Syria during the course of the Syrian Civil War and active military involvement led by the United States and its allies — the militaries of the United Kingdom, France, Jordan, Turkey, Canada, Australia and more — against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Nusra Front since 2014. Since early 2017, the U.S. and other Coalition partners have also targeted the Syrian government and its allies via airstrikes and aircraft shoot-downs.
Thomas Patrick Payne is a United States Army Delta Force sergeant major and instructor. He was born and raised in South Carolina and after graduating high school there he joined the army in 2002. He was a rifleman and sniper before becoming a special operations team member. He has been deployed 17 times including to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he sustained a serious grenade injury in 2010 that nearly ended his career. On October 22, 2015, he participated in a hostage rescue mission in an area of northern Iraq controlled by the Islamic State at the time, for which he was awarded the United States Medal of Honor for heroism on September 11, 2020.