Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

PO1 Luis A Souffront - www.OurWarHeroes.org

Luis A Souffront

Miami, Florida

February 7, 2008

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
25 Navy PO1

East Coast based SEAL team

 Killed by an improvised explosive device while serving in combat operations in Iraq.

PO1 Luis A Souffront - www.OurWarHeroes.org PO1 Luis A Souffront - www.OurWarHeroes.org PO1 Luis A Souffront - www.OurWarHeroes.org

Petty Officer 1st class Luis A. Souffront, 25,of Miami, Fla., died Feb. 7, from wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device while serving in combat operations in Iraq. He was an explosive ordnance disposalman assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group Two, SEAL team, based in Virginia Beach. Souffront enlisted in the Navy on July 24, 2000. After boot camp, he attended several specialized training schools and completed Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal School at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida in July 2002. He was then assigned for two months to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training Unit One in San Diego and was then transferred to Guam, where he was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Five through November 2005. That month, he was transferred to the Virginia Beach-based SEAL Team. Souffront's awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, a Combat Action Ribbon, two Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, two Sea Service deployment awards, two Navy/Marine Corps Overseas Service awards and the Rifle and Pistol Marksmanship Medals.
From The Pilot ham,ptonroads.com 02/10/08:

Sailor with Beach-based seal team killed in blast
By Steve Stone
The Virginian-Pilot
© February 10, 2008
VIRGINIA BEACH

A sailor assigned to a Virginia Beach-based SEAL team has died and six of his comrades were wounded in combat in Iraq, the Pentagon announced Saturday.

The slain sailor was identified as Petty Officer 1st Class Luis Ariel Souffront, 25, of Miami.

Souffront, an explosive ordnance disposalman, was assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group Two, based in Virginia Beach. His was the third combat death last week among personnel assigned to that unit.

"The water was his life and joining the Navy was his passion," said Rosanna Tejeda, one of his cousins, Saturday evening. "Everyone is at a shock and total disbelief" in Souffront's family, she said. "We have lost a precious person."

The Department of Defense said he died Thursday from wounds suffered from the blast of an improvised explosive device.

"Six other people were injured," said Lt. David Luckett, a spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Group Two, based at the Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base.

Their wounds "ranged in severity," he said, but all were successfully evacuated to military medical facilities where they are being treated and "none of their injuries are life-threatening."

The names of those who were hurt were not released, but all were members of Souffront's unit, and some of them were SEAL team members, Luckett confirmed.

Citing security concerns, Luckett said he could not say where in Iraq the incident occurred or offer any substantive details of the nature of the mission the unit was on when the blast occurred.

"They were carrying out combat operations," he said.

As a combat-support specialist, Souffront trained and fought shoulder-to-shoulder with SEAL team members.

Explosive ordnance specialists "play a critical role" in special warfare missions, Luckett said.

Such combat support personnel "go through the same training that the SEALs do before deployment," he said. They also "work side-by-side with the SEALs on the battlefield, assuming the same risk."

While they may not wear the same patches and insignia, they "are brothers in arms on the battlefield," Luckett said.

Souffront is survived by his mother and father, who reside in Miami. The family declined requests for interviews.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon confirmed the deaths of two Navy SEALs also assigned to Special Warfare Group Two.

Nathan H. Hardy and Michael E. Koch, both 29, were killed Monday in small-arms fire during anti-insurgent operations, the Navy said.

Souffront enlisted in the Navy on July 24, 2000. After boot camp, he attended several specialized training schools and completed Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal School at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida in July 2002.

He was then assigned for two months to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training Unit One in San Diego and was then transferred to Guam, where he was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Five through November 2005. That month, he was transferred to the Virginia Beach-based SEAL Team.

Souffront's awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, a Combat Action Ribbon, two Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, two Sea Service deployment awards, two Navy/Marine Corps Overseas Service awards and the Rifle and Pistol Marksmanship Medals.
EOD tech with SEAL team killed in Iraq

By Andrew Scutro

Staff writer

NORFOLK, Va. — An explosive ordnance disposal technician assigned to a Hampton Roads-based SEAL team was killed Thursday in Iraq.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class Luis A. Souffront, 25, was killed by an improvised explosive device during combat operations, according to a Defense Department statement.

Small teams of EOD techs have been assigned to naval special warfare and other units in recent years due to the prevalence of improvised explosive devices such as roadside bombs and booby traps in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lt. Dave Luckett, spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, said six other members of the team Souffront was operating with were wounded in the incident. Their wounds varied in severity but all were treated immediately, Luckett said.

Souffront joined the Navy in July 2000 and reported to EOD school at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida in March 2001. His home of record is Miami.
Joining the Navy was slain sailor’s passion

The Associated Press

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Luis A. Souffront had traveled from Guam to Iraq, trained to be a salvage diver and to defuse and dispose of explosives for the Navy.

“The water was his life and joining the Navy was his passion,” said Rosanna Tejeda, one of his cousins. “We have lost a precious person.”

Souffront, 25, of Miami, died Feb. 7 in Iraq from wounds sustained from an explosive. He was assigned to a SEAL team in Virginia Beach, Va.

Though not a member of the SEALs, the Navy’s elite Special Forces unit, Souffront faced the same day-to-day dangers, said Lt. David Luckett, a Naval Special Warfare spokesman based in Virginia.

“They train side by side with their SEAL counterparts in preparation for deployments and are brothers-in-arms on the battlefield,” Luckett said.

“Respected for his skill and courage, he was valued as a teammate by the SEALs he fought beside,” said his commanding officer in a statement. “His service to our country represented the highest ideals of our community and his loss affects us all.”

Souffront is survived by his mother and father.

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