Marine Corps Cpl. Zachary R. Cooper, son of Judy R. Howell of Kilbourne, La., and Ronald L. Cooper of Koshkonong, is currently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom while assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Elements of Cooper's unit recently joined coalition forces in the vicinity of Mosul, Iraq, to promote stability in the region and eliminate any pockets of Iraqi resistance.
Cooper is one of more than 4,000 Pacific Fleet Sailors and Marines who deployed aboard the ships of the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group.
Cooper's unit is an expeditionary intervention force with the ability to rapidly organize for combat operations in virtually any environment. MEUs are composed of more than 2,000 personnel and are divided into an infantry battalion, aircraft squadron, support group and command element. With this combination, Cooper's unit supplies and sustains itself for either quick mission accomplishment or clearing the way for follow-on forces.
Cooper is a 2000 graduate of Kilbourne (La.) High School and joined the Marine Corps in June 2000.
For more information on the deployment and high resolution photographs, please visit the 26th MEU Web site at http://www. 26meu.usmc.mil.