NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 410-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2007
DoD Identifies Navy Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a sailor who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Commander Philip A. Murphy-Sweet, 42, of Caldwell, Idaho, died April 7, 2007, as a result of enemy action in the vicinity of Baghdad.He was operationally assigned to Joint Contracting Command, Multi-National Force – Iraq and was deployed from his permanently assigned command of Naval Inventory Control Point, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
9 April 2007:
The military says an improvised explosive device is to blame for a Cumberland County man's death.
Commander Philip Murphy-Sweet, 42, of Hampden Township, Pennsylvania, was killed in Baghdad, Iraq on Saturday.
He was permanently assigned to the Naval Inventory Control Point, and was serving a six-month assignment, supporting Coalition troops in Iraq.
“We do know that he was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) attack, while traveling in Rassafa, Baghdad,” says Captain Jonathan Yuen, Vice Commander at the NAV-ICP. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, and all those who are serving in theatre.”
CDR Murphy-Sweet arrived at the Mechanicsburg-area base in 2004, serving as a contract officer.
A base spokesperson says Murphy-Sweet volunteered for an individual augmentation assignment in Iraq last November, and was performing unspecified contracting duties when he was killed.
“His return would have been imminent within the next month,” says Rear Admiral Michael Roesner, Commander of the Naval Base. He says that Murphy-Sweet's job as a contract officer was to ensure that coalition troops on the front line had the supplies they needed for victory.
Murphy-Sweet leaves behind a family, including three young children, two of whom are students in the Cumberland Valley School District.
“We're waiting to hear more information, regarding what our next move will be,” says Christopher Baldrige, Principal of Shaull Elementary School, where Murphy-Sweet's son attends fifth grade. “Our guidance counselor is available to assist students and staff, as needed. Right now, our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.
9 April 2007:
A Hampden Township man was near the end of his six-month assignment in Iraq when he was killed Saturday in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack.
U.S. Navy Supply Corps Commander Philip Murphy-Sweet's return was “imminent,” Rear Admiral Michael Roesner said Monday afternoon at a press conference at the Naval Inventory Control Point in Hampden Township.
Murphy-Sweet, 42, has been based at the depot since December 2004 and worked there as the director of maritime weapons systems.
He leaves behind his wife, Cheryl, and three children — two daughters and a son. Roesner, the NAVICP commander, said one is a teenager and two are preteens.
This was Murphy-Sweet's first shore deployment to Iraq, although Navy officials said he served twice on Navy ships in the Middle East supporting the war effort. This time, he was working in Iraq as a contracting officer supporting Coalition troops.
“Commander Murphy-Sweet was where he wanted to be,” Roesner said. “He treated every assignment with excitement.”
Roesner said the officer volunteered for the Iraq mission and knew its dangers. “I think it's fair to say anyone in Iraq has to be prepared to go in harm's way.”
As a contracting officer, he worked in logistics, setting up services and supplies for Coalition troops.
Seven other members of Roesner's command are serving in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Murphy-Sweet's death is the first loss in Iraq, he said.
“This is a time of great sadness for the Navy, and certainly for the Murphy-Sweet family,” Roesner said.
Officials said the family has requested privacy.
“I think it's fair to say that they are a very strong family in their family relationships and their faith,” he said.
Roesner called Murphy-Sweet a “gentleman” who had more than 16 years of experience in the Navy and was “superb” at leadership and training the next generation to take over.
“He led a balanced life” between family and work responsibilities, Roesner said.
Murphy-Sweet was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and his parents live in Idaho.
He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery and the funeral arrangements will be announced later, officials said.
10 April 2007:
Services for Commander Philip Murphy-Sweet will be held on Monday, April 16th at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Trindle Road in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
Visitation is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the church.
A mass will follow starting at 2 p.m.
A reception for family and friends will also be held immediately after.
Murphy-Sweet will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery the following day.
Commander Murphy-Sweet worked at the Navy Depot in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
He volunteered to go to Iraq for a six month assignment and was scheduled to come home next month.
He is survived by his wife Cheryl and three children.
MURPHY-SWEET, PHILIP ANTHONY
CDR US NAVY
- DATE OF BIRTH: 11/05/1964
- DATE OF DEATH: 04/07/2007
- BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 8616
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard