Two soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 2nd ID are killed in Iraq
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea - Two more soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division have been killed in Iraq, the Department of Defense confirmed Tuesday.
According to a pair of Pentagon news releases, Pfc. James E. Prevete of the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, was killed Oct. 10 in a vehicle crash and Pvt. Jeungjin Na Kim of the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, was killed Oct. 6 by enemy fire in Ramadi.
Their deaths bring the number of 2nd Brigade casualties to at least nine since deployment to Iraq in mid-August. Seven of those deaths have been the result of enemy fire, officials said.
According to the Pentagon release, Prevete was killed “when his military vehicle encountered whiteout conditions and the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle.”
The incident occurred in Habbaniyah, officials said, and is under investigation. Prevete, 22, was a native of Whitestone, N.Y., according to the Pentagon.
Kim, 23, of Honolulu, was killed when his patrol came under small arms fire during a patrol of the restive city of Ramadi, west of Baghdad.
Kim’s field artillery battalion is one of several U.S. units in Iraq trained to conduct missions outside their normal focus.
Before deploying from South Korea, the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery trained as infantrymen; each of its three companies are rotating through assignments as foot soldiers, force protection troops and in their traditional artillery role, officials have said.
Prevete is the second 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment soldier killed. Kim also is the second casualty from his respective unit.
The 2nd Brigade Combat Team left South Korea in early August, spending several weeks at training camps in Kuwait before convoying into Iraq. The brigade is operating in Al Anbar province, which contains the restive cities of Ramadi and Fallujah.
U.S. aircraft repeatedly have struck targets in Fallujah in recent days, in what military officials call “precision strikes” against suspected insurgent safe houses.
In the lead-up to Iraq’s January elections, U.S. officials have said they hope to gain control of insurgent strongholds, including those in Al Abnar.
That task likely would include the 2nd Brigade, whose area of operation is under U.S. Marine Corps command.
Earlier this month, U.S. officials confirmed the 2nd Brigade wouldn’t return to South Korea after its year-long Iraq deployment.
Instead, it will head to Fort Carson, Colo., as part of the 12,500-troop reduction over the next three years agreed to by South Korea and the United States last week.