A car bomb in Baghdad on Sunday killed the three airmen assigned to the 447th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron's Explosive Ordnance Division, the U.S. military said. A soldier died Saturday after coming under fire in the capital, and another soldier died Friday from combat wounds sustained in Iraq's volatile western Anbar province.
I haven't seen "airmen" linked to the sickeningly regular news reports of military deaths very often, so I looked at The Washington Post's Faces of the Fallen. The Air Force has lost the fewest members of the four major services in this Iraq war - 51 (that doesn't appear to include today's deaths).
Airman First Class - A1C - is the Air Force's third lowest rank, after Airman Basic and Airman, and the lowest rank listed in the Air Force's deaths in Iraq. According to the WaPo, only seven A1Cs have been killed there since the war started. They range in age from 20 to 22, with one 24, at the time of their deaths. And three were killed today.
I don't have any idea what, if anything, that signifies. A change in tactics? Desperation in deployments? I don't know. I just wanted to note it.
My heart goes out to the families and friends of three more brave young people.
UPDATE: The three were not Airmen First Class, but two Senior Airmen and one Tech Sgt., ages 23, 24, and 35.. My ignorance of Air Force terminology ("airmen" can signify any member of the Air Force) led to that assumption.
Also: I had to repost this after losing it and lost a comment - an angry one pointing out my ignorance and educating me about Explosive Ordnance Disposal airmen - from I believe it was David Dougherty, and my reply to it.
This is what a trained EOD airmen does. It is a decidedly difficult and dangerous job that requies a huge amount of know-how and courage.