Tuesday, October 30, 2007

US Army Finally Names Dead Soldier In Southern Philippines

Staff Sgt. Joseph F. Curreri, 27, died in an accidental drowning incident at Lake Seit in Panamao town in Sulu province on Oct. 26, 2007. (Army Photo/Mindanao Examiner)

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 30, 2007) – The US Army Special Operations Command has finally released Tuesday the identity of an American soldier who died in the southern Filipino province of Sulu.

It said Staff Sgt. Joseph F. Curreri, 27, died in an accidental drowning incident at Lake Seit in Panamo town on October 26. He was a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha team communications sergeant assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Lewis in Washington.

Curreri, a native of Maryland, volunteered for military service and entered the Army in July 2004 as an infantryman. He volunteered for and completed U.S. Army Airborne training, and then volunteered for Special Forces training at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

He was assigned to the 1st SFG (A) at Fort Lewis in 2006.

Hundreds of US soldiers under the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines are deployed in Sulu province and training local soldiers in various military tactics.

In February, a US Marine, Cpl. Timothy Lewis, suffered a heat stroke and eventually died from cardiac arrest in Sulu. It was the first reported death of a US soldier participating in this year’s joint military drill.

Lewis was part of a contingent from the Okinawa-based 3rd Marine Expeditionary Forces.

In February 2002, a US MH-47 Chinook helicopter with eight American crew and two soldiers on board crashed during a night flight in Bohol Strait in central Philippines. There were no survivors. The American troops were taking part in a joint military training with Filipino soldiers.

The helicopter was on a routine transit from the southern island of Basilan to the island of Mactan where the U.S. maintains a logistics air base.

In October of the same year, a US soldier was also killed after an Abu Sayyaf bomb exploded on a roadside restaurant outside a Philippine Army base in Malagutay village in Zamboanga City. (Mindanao Examiner)

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