Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Staff Sgt Joseph Fankhouser, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Killed in Afghanistan

LA Times April 28, 2012

Staff Sgt. Joseph Fankhauser, 30, an explosive ordnance disposal technican, was killed Sunday by a roadside bomb during combat operations in Helmand province. He was part of the 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

On Friday, Heather Fankhauser issued a statement mourning the loss of “the love of my life” but yet celebrating her husband’s devotion to duty:

“During the past seven years, we’ve endured four combat deployments. As hard as they were and as unbearable as this is now, we would not have changed any of it. He loved his country and he did what he did so that fellow service members could safely return to their families.”

The family dogs are waiting for Fankhauser’s return, his wife said.

“I’ve been trying to figure out how to explain to our dogs that they can stop pacing the door, waiting for Joseph to return again. They jump every time they hear his car alarm. I miss him every day and he will never be forgotten.”

Staff Sgt Joseph Fankhauser Facebook Page

April 28, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marine EOD Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine killed in Afghanistan

Update from Rick Crawford

On Tuesday of this week, Staff Sergeant Joseph D’Augustine was killed in Afghanistan by an IED. He was 29 years old.

Staff Sergeant D’Augustine was an EOD tech in the United States Marine Corps, and he had four tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq to his credit. He enlisted in the Marine Corps the day after he graduated from Waldwick High School in New Jersey in 2001. As an EOD tech, Staff Sergeant D’Augustine displayed the full extent of his bravery by clearing explosive threats in defending the lives of his fellow marines, soldiers, airmen, and sailors.

EOD techs, like Staff Sergeant D’Augustine, play an invaluable role in securing our freedom and in combating terrorism, but too often their heroic deeds go unreported

North Jersey.com  March 28, 2012

Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine of the U.S. Marine Corps was killed in Afghanistan this week. He was 29.

Twenty four hours after four Marines showed up at his parent’s home on Campbell Street in Waldwick with news of his death, the family had gathered and members were rifling through boxes of photos of the 2001 Waldwick High School graduate to find one in which he was flashing just the right smile.

D’Augustine is survived by his parents, Anthony and Patricia, and sisters, Nicole, Jennifer and Michele and her husband, Len Kulesa of Mahwah. He also had two nephews and one niece.

As of 3:30 p.m. March 28, the Department of Defense had not released information surrounding D’Augustine’s death.

Joseph D’Augustine left for boot camp the day after his graduation from Waldwick High School in 2001, his sisters said. This was his fourth tour; previous deployments had taken him to Iraq and Fallujah, Afghanistan.

“We loved him. He was a great brother, great uncle and great son,” said Michele Kulesa. “My parents were really proud of him. His nephews looked up to him and couldn’t wait for him to come home. He was a happy guy. God just took him too soon.”

The family said they planned to leave in several hours for Delaware on March 28 to await the arrival of D’Augustine’s remains.

D’Augustine was a member of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit and belonged to Waldwick VFW Post 1049 and American Legion Nightengale Post 57, according to VFW commander Michael Echevarria.

“Not only did he want to be a Marine, but he wanted to be wherever the action was,” Echevarria said in an interview March 28. “That’s true of him with everything. In high school he was a hell of a linebacker and he was a great wrestler.”

Echevarria described D’Augustine as someone who “wasn’t happy unless everyone around him was laughing.”

March 28, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Marine EOD Nick Daniels killed in Afghanistan

Chicago Tribune   November 6, 2011

Outside the Elmwood Park home where 25-year-old Marine Nick Daniels grew up, his younger sister, Kati, is still coming to grips with her family’s loss.

“I never thought it would happen to him,” she said. “It’s really hard, ya know — he was just so young.”

Daniels was an all-conference football player, graduating from St. Pat`s high school on Chicago’s Northwest Side before going onto college briefly.

Less than two years ago, he enlisted in the Marine Corps– the first of his generation to do so.

His sister said that becoming a marine was something Daniels always wanted to do so he went ahead and did it.

A family photograph was taken in August as they said goodbye before his first deployment as a bomb disposal Marine in Afghanistan.

“I just didn`t believe it because he was only there for a month and a half and he just got an award for digging up a bomb and then this happened,” Kati said, “and I didn`t want to believe it when they came to our house.”

Now others, like the Patriot Guard Riders, are making visits, helping this family deal with a sudden loss.

Patriot Guard Rider Dave Hume said “we’ve seen way too many grieving families [and that he has] been in too many airports, in too many hangars, watching too many caskets come off of the flights.”

“This Marine will not be unattended,” Hume added, “There will be a marine at his side the entire time.”

Some comfort for the Daniels family, who will now hold onto memories of their oldest son and brother.

Kati added that her brother “just loved making everyone laugh. He was a great guy; he just wanted everyone to have fun.”

November 7, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Memorial to British Explosive Ordnance Disposal Charlie Wood

Albert Park memorial to hero soldier Charlie Wood

A BRAVE Teesside soldier killed in Afghanistan is to be remembered with a permanent memorial.

Charlie Wood was just 34 when he lost his life while searching for hidden bombs. The bomb disposal expert was caught in an Improvised Explosive Device blast last December.

The Warrant Officer Class 2 from 23 Pioneer Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, was described by his family as “a soldier through and through who did not die in vain”. A son, brother and husband, he had a “heart of gold that could melt the sun”.

Charlie was born and bred in Middlesbrough and the town came to a sombre standstill at his funeral service in January.

Charlie was a keen Boro fan and the cortege stopped off at the Riverside Stadium.

Now a memorial is to be unveiled in his home town. Middlesbrough will honour one of its bravest sons at 2pm tomorrow.

Please read more here Gazette Live UK

November 5, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marine EOD Staff Sergeant Stephen J Dunning killed in Afghanistan

Milpitas Marine Awarded Purple Heart, Was Killed Disarming Bomb

Marine Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Dunning, 31, of Milpitas, has received a posthumous Purple Heart. Dunning is a graduate of Milpitas HIgh School.

Marine Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Dunning, 31, of Milpitas, was killed Thursday in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Department of Defense said Dunning was an explosive ordinance disposal technician, and was killed while attempting to disarm an explosive device in the Helmand province when he was killed.

Dunning has been awarded a posthumous Purple Heart.

During his career, he also collected many other service awards, including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, and the NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan. He also received two letters of appreciation and a certificate of commendation, individual award.

Dunning joined the Marine Corps on April 19, 1999. At the time of his death, he was assigned to the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, which is normally based in Okinawa, Japan, where he had been serving since June of 2009. His unit was recently sent to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom

Memorial Service Planned

October 30, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gunnery Sgt. Ralph E. Pate, Jr., Explosive Ordnance Disposal Killed

WMBF News  June 30, 2011

MARION, SC (WMBF) – A family in Marion is mourning the loss of a 29-year-old Marine after he was killed during combat in Afghanistan Sunday.

Second Lt. James Stenger with the United States Marine Corps said Gunnery Sgt. Ralph E. Pate, Jr. of Marion was an explosive ordnance disposal technician assigned to Second EOD Company, Eighth Engineer Support Battalion, Second Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Lejeune, NC.

He joined the Marines in 1998 and was promoted to his current rank in 2009, according to Stenger

During his time with the Marines, Pate was deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008, and was also deployed in 2009 and 2011 for Operation Enduring Freedom.

Stenger said Pate’s personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Action Ribbon with Gold Star in lieu of second award, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with three gold stars in lieu of fourth award.

Circumstances surrounding Pate’s death were not immediately made available.

Please read more and see video at WMBF

July 3, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , | Leave a comment

British EOD Killed in Afghanistan

Udate Captain Lisa Head identified as EOD killed

British Forces News   April 20, 2011

The Ministry of Defence has announced that a British soldier has been killed in Afghanistan.

The soldier from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps died on Tuesday 19th April 2011, after being deployed on an operation to clear Improvised Explosive Devices in the Nahr-e Saraj (South) District of Helmand Province.

Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lieutenant Colonel Tim Purbrick, said:

“The soldier was neutralising a complex set of Improvised Explosive Devices which had been sown in an alleyway between two compounds when one of the devices detonated. Immediate first aid was provided and a helicopter Medical Emergency Response Team recovered the casualty to the military hospital in Camp Bastion. Surgeons stabilised the patient sufficiently for a Critical Care Air Support Team to conduct a medical evacuation from Camp Bastion to the Queen Elizabeth NHS Hospital in Birmingham where, tragically, the individual died.”

The soldier’s family has been informed.

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , | Leave a comment