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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 18, 2010

Isle-based Marine killed

Advertiser Staff

A Kane'ohe Bay Marine died Tuesday "while supporting combat operations" in Helmand province in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said yesterday.

Lance Cpl. Noah M. Pier, 25, of Charlotte, N.C., was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Pier was a machine gunner, according to Marine Corps Base Hawai'i. His unit deployed to Afghanistan in November to be part of Regimental Combat Team 7 to conduct counterinsurgency operations with Afghan National Security Forces.

Pier is the fourth Hawai'i Marine to be killed on the deployment of 1,000 Marines and sailors. The Kane'ohe Marine base said Pier joined the Marine Corps in August 2007 and reported to the 1st Battalion in February 2008. He previously deployed with the 1st Battalion to Iraq.

His awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

It was unclear yesterday whether Pier was killed as a result of ongoing operations in Marjah, a Taliban stronghold and focus of an offensive called Operation Moshtarak, a Dari word for "together," involving 15,000 U.S., British and Afghan soldiers.

Some Kane'ohe Bay Marines last week were deployed to an intersection known as "Five Points" outside Marjah, and were fired upon from the town.

In Marjah, coalition troops have faced a lot of roadside bombs and sniper fire.