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BAMBERG, Germany — Some 70 soldiers from the 82nd Engineer Battalion were presented last week with Combat Action Badges earned during a yearlong deployment to Iraq, bringing to 289 the number of battalion soldiers who have received the distinction.

The final group of 70 was pinned during a ceremony at Warner Barracks in Bamberg, officials said.

“Whether it was recruiting and training the new Iraqi army, compassionately extending a helping hand to those willing to make their country a better nation, or striking a poised rattlesnake decisively, you exemplified the Warrior Ethos in everything you did,” battalion commander Lt. Col. Gerald O’Connor was quoted as saying in an Army release.

Company A of the 1st Infantry Division’s 82nd Engineer Battalion — a unit that saw combat in World War II, Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom — cased its colors Tuesday as part of the Army’s transformation in Europe.

The entire Bamberg, Germany-based battalion will inactivate by March, transform into a brigade troops battalion and join the 173rd Airborne Brigade at Vicenza, Italy.

In February 2004, Company A deployed to Diyala province in Iraq’s volatile Sunni Triangle.

Information provided by the battalion showed that during the year in Iraq, Company A conducted more than 900 patrols, was under direct fire 14 times and encountered more than 40 roadside bombs. Seven members of the unit were killed in action and 18 were wounded in action.

Two of those soldiers, Sgt. Charles Webb and Spc. Isaac Nieves, were posthumously awarded the badge and were honored at the ceremony with a moment of silence.


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