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Press Release
July 31, 2006
Oregon Army National Guard's B/52 Engineer Soldiers to Receive Army's New Combat Action Badge
 
Thirty-four Soldiers of the Oregon Army National Guard's former B Company, 52nd Engineer Battalion will receive Combat Action Badges at the Linn County Fairgrounds on Aug. 5, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. The Soldiers earned the awards for encountering combat action while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
 
The following Soldiers from the following cities earned the Combat Action Badge:
 
from Albany:
Master Sgt. Fred U. Felde*
Spc. Wesley B. Gamble*
Spc. Robert J. Meston*
 
from Astoria:
Staff Sgt. Lee A. Carrar
 
from Beaverton:
Spc. Christopher W. Jones
 
from Bend:
Sgt. Brian J. Dooley
 
from Canby:
Sgt. 1st Class Lisa A. Mesteth*
 
from Coos Bay:
Spc. Crystal J. Adams
Sgt. Timothy E. Cotter
 
from Corvallis:
Pfc. Nathan W. Nakis+
 
from Dallas:
Spc. Joseph R. Lillibridge*
 
from Eugene:
Spc. Agbhijit Baburaj
 
from Federal Way, WA:
Pfc. Roy L. Esquivel
 
from Hermiston:
Spc. Marvin E. Jensen
 
from Jefferson:
Spc. Timothy A. Roy
 
from Keizer:
Master Sgt. Arthur Arroyo, jr.
 
from Lebanon:
Sgt. 1st Class Robert A. Hackworth*
Spc. Andrew I. McCready
Spc. Christopher E. Rutter*
 
from Long Beach, WA:
Spc. Viliufo L. Lopez*
 
from Medford:
Spc. Luke D. Ertsgaard*
 
from Ocean Shores, WA:
Spc. Christopher S. Furness
 
from Prineville:
1st Lt. Krystal L. Loverin
 
from Salem:
Sgt. Mkesha L. Clayton
Spc. Kevin D. Phelps
Cpt. Marcus A. Williams
 
from Scio:
Staff Sgt. Joseph N. Gassner
 
from Seaside:
Sgt. James A. Ruks*
 
from Silverton:
Spc. Brandon L. Pedigo
 
from Springfield:
Spc. Brian M. Klopp*
 
from Stayton:
Spc. Phillip T. Garelli*
 
from Tigard:
Spc. Fred Lotfi, jr.*
 
from Tillamook:
Spc. John R. King
 
from Troutdale:
Spc. Brian R. Kirchner*
 
 
 *  -No longer with the unit
 + -Deceased: award will be presented posthumously
 
 
The following are the details of each incident:
 
On August 20, 2003 the Bravo 52nd Engineers' operating base was hit by rocket fire. The platoon had been repairing roads in local villages during the day. The base was attacked around midnight and the rounds impacted in the unit's vehicle area, located approximately 100 meters from the unit's sleeping area. Search of the surrounding area in the morning revealed shrapnel from two 107mm Heavy Explosive Rockets.
 
On September 11, 2003, while traveling in a four-vehicle convoy, Soldiers from the Bravo 52 Engineers were ambushed with small arms fire while enroute to LSA Diamondback from the Mosul Water Plant. The middle two vehicles, M916 Tractors with Water Distributors, were disabled. Spc. Jones, Pfc. Lillibridge, and Sgt. Dooley were wounded. The lead vehicle moved away from the fire and went to Striker Base to get help. The trail vehicle with Staff Sgt. Carrar and Spc. Klopp entered the ambush area and evacuated the wounded soldiers before moving to Striker Base. The enemy disengaged before the Quick Reactionary Force arrived.
 
On November 6, 2003, the enemy ambushed a four-vehicle convoy from the 52nd Engineer Battalion with an Improvised Explosive Device while they were enroute from LSA Diamondback in Mosul to Irbil, Iraq. The explosive device was composed of two 155mm Artillery rounds wired together. The trail vehicle was severely damaged with Sgt. Haynes and Sgt. Thompson wounded in action [WIA] and Spc. Wolf killed in action [KIA]. The other three vehicles were within 150 meters of the blast and showered with debris. The entire convoy stopped and secured a perimeter. After searching vehicles and medically evacuating the wounded, the convoy moved to LSA Diamondback.
 
The 52nd Engineers were deployed to Iraq from March 10, 2003 until February 29, 2004. Upon return to the U.S., the unit inactivated and all records were sent to the Center of Military History.
 
 
 
Contact:
 
 
Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office
503-584-3917
 
Sgt. Anna Nam
(503) 584-3807