DoD identifies three U.S. soldiers killed outside base in Jordan

In this June 18, 2013, file photo, U.S. Marines monitor Eager Lion multinational military maneuvers in Quweira, 186 miles south of Amman, Jordan. 

AP

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Defense Department has identified three soldiers killed in a shooting this week outside a military base in Jordan.

The department said Sunday that 27-year-old Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, of Lawrence, Kansas; 30-year-old Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe of Tucson, Arizona; and 27-year-old Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty of Kerrville, Texas, died Friday after the convoy they were in came under fire as it entered a Jordanian military base.

The Defense Department is investigating.

The department said the soldiers were assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) from Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Lewellen’s family said in a statement to The Kirksville Daily Express he was raised in Kirksville, Missouri, and was a “born leader, a true American.” They said his military awards included the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal.

Moriarty family spokesman Wayne Dolcefino said Saturday that family was notified by the military Friday evening. 

Dolcefino said Moriarty had served three tours of duty and was a member of the U.S. Army Special Forces. Moriarty grew up in Houston and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Texas. 

Dolcefino said Moriarty’s family is heartbroken and they are planning a memorial service in a week or so. 

McEnroe, a native of Tucson, Arizona, had more than eight years of service in the Army. This was his third overseas tour, the Army said in a statement

Attacks on U.S. personnel are extremely rare in Jordan, a close American ally in the Middle East. Jordan is one of the only Arab nations to have joined the U.S.-led military coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria. 

However, Jordan faces homegrown extremism, with hundreds of Jordanians fighting alongside ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria and several thousand more supporting the extremist group in the kingdom.

In November 2015, a Jordanian police officer opened fire at a regional police training center in the Jordanian capital, killing two Americans, a South African and two Jordanians before being shot dead.