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Raider Earns Bronze Star For Valor After Fending Off Brutal ISIS Ambush From Back Of Open Truck
A Marine Raider who sprinted through enemy fire to man an exposed shooting position in the back of an open truck and successfully broke an ambush by ISIS militants in Iraq was awarded the military’s third highest award for valor on Oct. 30.
For his actions under fire, Staff Sgt. Patrick Maloney, a multi-purpose canine handler with the Camp Lejeune North Carolina-based 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, was presented the Bronze Star with “V” device by the commander of Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, Maj. Gen. Carl Mundy III.
With hundreds of special operators deployed to battlefields in Iraq and Syria, medal citations like Maloney’s offer a glimpse at the heroism and dangers faced by those elite troops operating on the ground — and, as Military.com’s Hope Hodge Seck notes, provide details of combat operations often kept out of the public’s eye.
Though the exact location of the ambush has not been confirmed, Maloney and his team were on a ridgetop recon mission along the Kurdish Defensive Line surrounding the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq on Aug. 27, 2016, when the ambush occurred, according to Military.com. The Marines were providing security from an observation post overlooking Islamic State-held turf when the Raiders were ambushed by militants some 500 meters west of their position. The onslaught of small-arms and machine gun fire pinned three Raiders down behind a vehicle.
That’s when Maloney took action. Sprinting across open ground, he leapt into back of an open truck to man a Peshmerga heavy machine gun, where according to his citation, he remained “deliberately exposed to withering fire,” and “laid deadly suppressive fire on the enemy fighting positions.”
But disaster seemed poised to strike, when not once, but twice, Maloney’s weapon malfunctioned. Yet each time the weapon jammed Maloney kept his cool — even as enemy rounds flew past — and got the weapon back up, and rounds back on target.
“His fearless actions and fierce suppression gained fire superiority and enabled his teammates to return safely to covered positions,” the citation continues.
Staff Sgt. Patrick Maloney, a multi-purpose canine handler with 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, was presented the Bronze Star with "V" at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 30, 2017 for his actions under fire in Iraq in August 2016.U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Salvador R. Moreno
With the three Raiders no longer pinned down, the initiative swung back in the Marines’ favor, as they continued fighting until the enemy ambush was broken, and the attackers withdrew. But it wasn’t the last tough scrape Maloney would be in on that deployment — his fifth tour.
Months after the harrowing firefight, Maloney suffered a head injury during another engagement on Dec. 30, 2016, according to an online fundraiser organized by his family, Jeff Schogol and Andrew deGrandpre of Military Times reported on Jan. 2.
Maloney is currently assigned to the Wounded Warrior Regiment.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The prosecution rested its case against Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher on Tuesday after a week of testimony from members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon, medical and forensic experts, and NCIS agents.
The focus of Tuesday was on the investigative steps taken by the lead agent, Joseph Warpinski, 34, in addition to jurors being shown text messages sent by Gallagher to fellow SEALs with photos of a dead ISIS fighter that prosecutors characterized as "trophy shots."
Gallagher, 40, is accused of stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter and firing a sniper rifle at civilians in Iraq. He has pleaded not guilty.
Moments before Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia went back into the house, journalist Michael Ware said he was "pacing like a caged tiger ... almost like he was talking to himself."
"I distinctly remember while everybody else had taken cover temporarily, there out in the open on the street — still exposed to the fire from the roof — was David Bellavia," Ware told Task & Purpose on Monday. "David stopped pacing, he looked up and sees that the only person still there on the street is me. And I'm just standing there with my arms folded.
"He looked up from the pacing, stared straight into my eyes, and said 'Fuck it.' And I stared straight back at him and said 'Fuck it,'" Ware said. "And that's when I knew, we were both going back in that house."
Former Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn will plead not guilty to a charge of murder for allegedly shooting an unarmed Afghan man whom a tribal leader had identified as a Taliban bomb maker, his attorney said.
Golsteyn will be arraigned on Thursday morning at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Phillip Stackhouse told Task & Purpose.
No date has been set for his trial yet, said Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
John Wick is back, and he's here to stay. It doesn't matter how many bad guys show up to try to collect on that bounty.
With John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, the titular hitman, played by 54-year-old Keanu Reeves, continues on a blood-soaked hyper-stylized odyssey of revenge: first for his slain dog, then his wrecked car, then his destroyed house, then ... well, honestly it's hard to keep track of exactly what Wick is avenging by this point, or the body count he's racked up in the process.
Though we do know that the franchise has raked in plenty of success at the box office: just a week after it's May 17 release, the third installment in director Chad Stahleski's series took in roughly $181 million, making it even more successful than its two wildly popular prequels 2014's John Wick, and 2017's John Wick: Chapter 2.
And, more importantly, Reeves' hitman is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest action movie heroes in recent memory. Few (if any) other action flicks have succeeded in creating a mind-blowing avant garde ballet out of a dozen well-dressed gunmen who get shot, choked, or stabbed with a pencil by a pissed off hitman who just wants to return to retirement.
But for all the over-the-top acrobatics, fight sequences, and gun-porn (see: the sommelier), what makes the series so enthralling, especially for the service members and vets in the audience, is that there are some refreshing moments of realism nestled under all of that gun fu. Wrack your brain and try to remember the last time you saw an action hero do a press check during a shootout, clear a jam, or actually, you know, reload, instead of just hip-firing 300 rounds from an M16 nonstop. It's cool, we'll wait.
As it turns out, there's a good reason for the caliber of gun-play in John Wick. One of the franchise's secret weapons is a professional three-gun shooter named Taran Butler, who told Task & Purpose he can draw and hit three targets in 0.67 seconds from 10 yards. And if you've watched any of the scores of videos he's uploaded to social media over the years, it's pretty clear that this isn't idle boasting.
The Navy's electromagnetic railgun is undergoing what officials described as "essentially a shakedown" of critical systems before finally installing a tactical demonstrator aboard a surface warship, the latest sign that the once-beleaguered supergun may actually end up seeing combat.
That pretty much means this is could be the last set of tests before actually slapping this bad boy onto a warship, for once.