Fourth soldier from 2nd BCT dies in Iraq combat
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — A 2nd Brigade Combat Team soldier was killed Saturday in Iraq, the fourth confirmed combat fatality since the South Korea-based unit began its yearlong deployment last month, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
Spc. Robert Oliver Unruh, of the 44th Engineer Battalion, was killed by enemy small arms fire Sept. 25 in Al Anbar province, according to the Department of Defense.
Unruh, 25, was from Tucson, Ariz., officials said. No other details on the incident were available.
Al Anbar province includes the volatile, insurgent-controlled cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, which U.S. military officials have said likely will be the target of increased offensives as the January elections in Iraq approach.
The 44th Engineer Battalion operates from Camp Ramadi, a former Iraqi army garrison that is now the main base for 2nd Brigade troops and home to units from all four U.S. military services.
The Al Anbar area comes under command of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
The 44th Engineers are a combat engineer unit but, before deploying, some unit members were trained by Directorate of Public Works engineers in such tasks as basic construction, electrical work and plumbing. The new skills were expected to be put to use fixing up U.S. base camps as well as in goodwill-promoting projects with local Iraqi communities.
The unit was stationed at Camp Howze, South Korea, before deployment. Under agreements with the South Korean government, that base is set to close by the end of the year. Last week, the Department of the Army confirmed the 2nd Brigade would head to Fort Carson, Colo., when its Iraq deployment ends.
A fifth soldier from the 2nd Brigade died of noncombat-related injuries shortly after arriving in Kuwait, officials have said.