Two Special Operations Soldiers Killed in Aircraft Mishap

Staff Sgt. Vincent P. Marketta, 33, of Brick, New Jersey, and Sgt. Tyler M. Shelton, 22, of San Bernardino, California, died August 27, from injuries sustained during an aircraft mishap while conducting aviation training on San Clemente Island, California.


Staff Sgt. Vincent P. Marketta, 33, of Brick, New Jersey, and Sgt. Tyler M. Shelton, 22, of San Bernardino, California, died August 27, from injuries sustained during an aircraft mishap while conducting aviation training on San Clemente Island, California.

“The loss of Staff Sgt. Marketta and Sgt. Shelton has left a scar in this Regiment that will never completely heal,” said Col. Andrew R. Graham, commander of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). “Their level of dedication to the 160th SOAR (A) and their exemplary service in the Army is the embodiment of what it means to be a Night Stalker and a Soldier. Our priority now is to ensure the Families of our fallen warriors receive our complete support as we work through this tragedy together. We ask that you keep Staff Sgt. Marketta, Sgt. Shelton, their Families and fellow Night Stalkers in your thoughts and prayers.”

Staff Sgt. Marketta, a native of Brick, New Jersey, enlisted in the Army in 2011, as a 15T UH-60 “Black Hawk” Repairer. He was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) upon completing Advanced Individual Training, and the Regiment’s extensive training and assessment program in 2012. He spent 18 months as an aircraft repairer in 1st Battalion, 160th SOAR (A).  In 2014, Marketta remained in 1st Battalion, 160th SOAR (A) for service as an MH-60M Crew Chief.

While assigned to 160th SOAR (A), Marketta deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and deployed multiple times to Iraq in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.

He graduated from the Enlisted Combat Skills; Combatives Level 1; MH-60 Maintainers Course; Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape School; MH-60 Non-Rated Crew Member Course; the Basic and Advanced Leaders Courses; and the MH-60 Flight Instructors Course.

Staff Sgt. Marketta’s awards and decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross; Air Medal with V device; Air Medal with C device; Air Medal; Army Commendation Medal with C device (2OLC); Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal (1OLC); Army Good Conduct

Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal (Campaign Star); Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 2); Army Service Ribbon; NATO Medal; Combat Action Badge; and the Basic Aviator’s Badge.

Sgt. Shelton, a native of San Bernardino, California, enlisted in the Army in 2016, as a 15T UH-60 “Black Hawk” Repairer. He was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) upon completing Advanced Individual Training, and the Regiment’s extensive training and assessment program in 2017. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 160th SOAR (A) where he spent eight months as an MH-60M Repairer. In 2018, Shelton remained in 1st Battalion, 160th SOAR (A) for service as an MH-60M Crew Chief.

While assigned to 160th SOAR (A), Shelton deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

He graduated from the Enlisted Combat Skills; Combatives Level 1; MH-60 Maintainers Course; Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape School; MH-60 Non-Rated Crew Member Course; and the Basic Leaders Course.

Sgt. Shelton’s awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal (Campaign Star); Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon; Army Service Ribbon; and the Basic Aviator’s Badge.

Both Staff Sgt. Marketta and Sgt. Shelton will receive the Meritorious Service Medal posthumously.

For more information please contact the USASOC Public Affairs Office: elise.vanpool.civ@socom.mil, or call 910.432.6005.

Blogs to Follow:

Army.Mil (August 2020) Two Special Operations Soldiers Killed in Aircraft Mishap

Christian Teenager Killed in Iraq Protests

A 15-year-old Assyrian Christian named Rimon was killed by Iraqi security forces while protesting in Tahrir Square on Tuesday, February 25. Rimon was targeted and killed with a hunting rifle.


24 Other Protesters Wounded in Tahrir Square Violence

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a 15-year-old Assyrian Christian named Rimon was killed by Iraqi security forces while protesting in Tahrir Square on Tuesday, February 25. Rimon was targeted and killed with a hunting rifle. Twenty-four other protesters were also wounded during the violence from gunshots and teargas.

Following this incident, the Iraqi Christian community is mourning the loss of one of its members. “Protesting in Baghdad took a lot of souls. Rimon was among them, and he was only 15 years old,” a local Christian woman told ICC. “I cannot imagine how sad Rimon’s parents are. Every day we are losing lots of souls; someone needs to do something to stop this massacre,” another Christian protester added.

A local shop owner near the protests said, “Targeting protesters by hunting guns is a crime. No one helps Iraqi citizens.”

Rimon’s mentor at his church commented, “All he did was seeking a better future.” A fellow church member echoed, “I am so sad for Rimon and his parents. He was there to ask for a better life. It could have been me instead of him. Actually, it could have been any of us there.”

Tuesday’s violence comes nearly 150 days after the protests first began. Reports indicate that over 600 Iraqis have been killed since October 1, protesting government corruption, high unemployment, insufficient public services, and foreign interference. The protests were originally ignited over the removal of Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi as commander of counter-terrorism forces. His widespread popularity after his leadership in defeating ISIS sparked demonstrations that have grown in both size and intensity.  

ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, Claire Evans, commented, “We pray for the family of Rimon and for peace to come to a region that has seen increased violence toward Christians. We praise God as the refuge and strong tower that He is for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to endure so much.”

Cell Phones and Accessories

Persecution.org (February, 2020) Christian Teenager Killed in Iraq Protests

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