Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Staff Sgt. Eric S. Holman, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, killed by IED in Afghanistan

Post Gazette.com  August 18, 2012

Eric Holman was motivated, meticulous and strong-willed.

Those qualities had served him well during his nine-year Army career, according to his stepmother, Jan Holman.

Staff Sgt. Holman, a 1990 Avonworth graduate, was killed Wednesday in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province by an improvised explosive device, according to the Department of Defense. He was 39.

A large contingent of family members, including his mother, Carol, of Franklin Park, and his father David and stepmother, of Forward Township, Butler County, were at Dover Air Force Base, in Delaware, when his body was brought back to the United States this morning.

“He had planned to make the Army a career,” Jan Holman said. “He liked everything about it.”

After graduating from Penn State in 1995 with a degree in criminal justice, Sgt. Holman held a variety of jobs. He drove cross-country for his father’s trucking company, operated a limousine service and did construction work.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he joined the Army as an enlisted man at age 29. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division and became a member of the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team. “They were like a family for him,” his stepmother said.

About three years ago he began training as an explosive ordnance disposal, or EOD, specialist. Assigned to the 192nd Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance Group, 20th Support Command, he had been stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. He had looked forward to his deployment in Afghanistan, which began in January, Jan Holman said. He was scheduled to come home in September.

He had been on patrol with a U.S. Special Forces team in the Afghan mountains when he was killed.

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Fay Observer

A Fort Bragg soldier died Wednesday in Afghanistan of wounds he suffered when he encountered an improvised explosive device, the Defense Department said Friday.

Staff Sgt. Eric S. Holman, 39, of Evans City, Pa., died in Ghazni province. He was assigned to 192nd Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance Group, 20th Support Command at Fort Bragg.

He was an explosive ordnance disposal soldier, the 20th Support Command said in a press release issued Friday night.

“They are warriors who are properly trained, equipped and integrated to attack, defeat and exploit unexploded ordnance, improvised explosive devices and weapons of mass destruction,” reads the U.S. Army’s website.

Holman used to perform with the Golden Knights, the U.S. Army Parachute Team. “The entire family of the Golden Knights offer our deepest regrets and gratitude to our family member Eric Holman,” the parachute team announced on its Facebook page Thursday. “Thank You and you will be missed.”

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August 17, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , | Leave a comment

Marine Explosive Ordnance Disposal Staff Sgt. Sky R. Mote killed in Afghanistan

Sacbee  August 16, 2012

For Russ Mote and his family, the grief comes in waves as they remember the son and brother who was killed a week ago while serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan.

The comfort comes as they remember Staff Sgt. Sky R. Mote’s characteristic smile and his conviction that the work he and his team were doing in an Afghan village in Helmand province was making a difference.

They were further comforted Thursday by the outpouring of support from El Dorado County residents and others who waved flags from Highway 50 overpasses and lined streets in El Dorado Hills as a motorcade bearing the young Marine’s body passed en route from McClellan Air Park to Green Valley Mortuary.

Sky Mote, 27, and two other members of the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion from Camp Pendleton – Capt. Matthew P. Manoukian, 29, of Los Altos Hills and Gunnery Sgt. Ryan Jeschke, 31, of Herndon, Va. – were killed Aug. 10.

Initial reports were that the three were shot by an Afghan police officer after sharing a meal with the man. Russ Mote said he is waiting to hear the story from members of his son’s unit.

“Sky always had a smile on his face. … I’ve only seen three pictures where he wasn’t smiling,” Mote said, and those were official Corps photos in which the Marine was supposed to look somber.

Sky Mote joined the Marines nine years ago, after graduating from Union Mine High School in his hometown of El Dorado.

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August 17, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Navy SEAL, David Warsen, killed in Afghanistan Blackhawk Crash

All Michigan MLive  August 17, 2012

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — After every mission, Navy SEAL David Warsen would call his fiancee in San Diego to tell her he was safe.

Thursday, she never got the call.

It was later that day that two Navy members showed up at the hospital where she worked– she worked as a nurse at a neonatal unit — to deliver the devastating news.

Today, relatives of David “Davey” Warsen, an East Kentwood High School graduate, are remembering him as a talented and dedicated Navy SEAL who took pride in serving his country.

Warsen was killed Thursday when a Blackhawk helicopter crashed during a Special Operations mission in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan.

Ten others also died in the crash, including six other American troops.

Warsen, who had been in the Navy for nearly four years, was expected to return to the states by Oct. 1 when his deployment officially ended, said his grandfather, Duke Warsen.

But David Warsen, 27, believed the deployment could end as early as mid-September. He was sent to Afghanistan in December.

david warsen.jpegCourtesy PhotoDavid Warsen was a U.S. Navy Seal who was planning to get married to his fiancee, Karlyn Deveau, on Dec. 9, said family members on Thursday.

Duke Warsen said his grandson was planning to get married to his fiancee on December 8 in Grandville.

“They were happy as two kids in a candy store,” Duke Warsen said.

He said he spoke with his grandson frequently, maybe twice a week, and often used Skype to communicate.

He knew his grandson was going on a mission, but Warsen said he never knew many details about any operations because that’s the way his grandson wanted it.

“He was very tight-lipped. He didn’t want us to worry. But we could hear in his voice, things were pretty bad over there,” he said.

August 17, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Afghanistan: Another Green on Blue Rogue Attack Kills 2 U.S. Service Members

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two American Special Forces members were shot to death on Friday by a new Afghan local police recruit they were training at a small outpost in western Afghanistan.

KABUL, Afghanistan  Associated Press at Huffington Post   August 17, 2012

Another Afghan policeman turned his weapon on American allies on Friday in the country’s west, killing two U.S. service members in the latest of a disturbing string of attacks by Afghan security forces on the international troops training them.

The killing — which local police said was by an Afghan recruited just five days earlier to a village defense force — is the sixth similar incident in two weeks.

The shooting happened in the far western province of Farah, said Jamie Graybeal, a spokesman for the international coalition force. The attacker was a member of the Afghan Local Police, a village defense force that is being trained by international forces, including U.S. special forces.

Graybeal says two American service members died before the Afghan attacker was shot and killed.

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August 17, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Safety and Security Issues | , , , | Leave a comment