OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM

A Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) team providing security in Iraq.

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NORTH ARABIAN GULF (MAY 5, 2004)-U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer John Whelan, 42, from Massapequa, N.Y. (L); U.S. Navy EN2 Josh Martin, 23, from Chippewa Falls, Wis.; and U.S. Coast Guard Machinery Technician 3rd Class Mike Azevedo, 22, from Miami, Fla., remain vigilant while on a patrol around Iraq’s Khawr Al Amaya oil terminal (KAAOT). On April 24, two Navy Sailors from Firebolt and a Coast Guardsman, Damage Controlman 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal, 24, were killed when a vessel they were attempting to prevent entering the security zone around KAAOT, exploded and overturned the Rigid Hull Inflatable boat they were riding on. Four other service members, including Coast Guard Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Joe Ruggiero, 23, from Revere, Mass., were injured in the attack. DC3 Bruckenthal was the first Coast Guardsman to die in combat since the Vietnam War. Both Bruckenthal and Ruggiero served in LEDET 403. Coast Guard LEDETs frequently deploy aboard U.S. Navy ships and specialize in boardings and vessel inspections. USCG photo by PA1 Matthew Belson

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