Air Force identifies three OSI agents killed in bombing

By SCOTT SCHONAUER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 4, 2007

BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq — The Air Force has identified three Office of Special Investigations agents killed Monday by a roadside bomb near Balad.

The Pentagon announced Saturday that the men — Master Sgt. Thomas A. Crowell, 36, of Neosho, Mo.; Staff Sgt. David A. Wieger, 28, of North Huntingdon, Pa.; and civilian Nathan J. Schuldheiss, 27, of Newport, R.I. — died from wounds sustained from the blast. All were attached to the Air Force OSI detachment at Balad during their deployment to Iraq. Their home units are in the United States.

Crowell was assigned to Detachment 301 at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Wieger belonged to Detachment 303 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. Schuldheiss was attached to Detachment 204 out of Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.

A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday at Balad Air Base, said Maj. John Sheets, an Air Force spokesman at Balad.

“I know, without a doubt, that Tom, Dave and Nate would want one thing, for us to continue the right fight; to keep the mission focused and to continue to take the fight to our enemy,” Brig. Gen. Dana A. Simmons, the AFOSI commander, said in a statement.

“That’s what they did every day and that is what they were doing when this tragic event happened. We must honor that passion and their sacrifice.

“Despite this adversity, we must not lose focus of the fact that these brave men paid the ultimate sacrifice ... so that we can continue the fight and protect the freedoms of our way of life and our loved ones. ...”

The OSI has lost five agents in Iraq this year.

On June 5, Tech. Sgt. Ryan A. Balmer and Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Kuglics were killed when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. Both were assigned to Air Force OSI Expeditionary Detachment 2410.

OSI is the Air Force’s investigative agency and includes 2,533 active-duty, Reserve and civilian personnel. Nearly 800 members are enlisted airmen, according to the Air Force. The agency primarily focuses on criminal investigations and counterintelligence.

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