Fort Drum Identifies 10th Mountain Division Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

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Fort Drum officials  released the names late Wednesday night of two 10th Mountain Division soldiers from the division headquarters who were killed in Afghanistan. 

The two, both lieutenant colonels, died when a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device exploded near their convoy in Kabul Tuesday.

Killed were:

- Lt. Col. Paul R. Bartz, 43, of Wisconsin (above, left).

- Lt. Col. Thomas P. Belkofer, 44, of Ohio (above, right).

According to Fort Drum, the two soldiers were part of a team from the 10th Mountain Division headquarters to conduct key leader training and set the conditions for the headquarters' deployment to Afghanistan later this year.

"This is a heartbreaking loss for the 10th Mountain Division and the entire Fort Drum community. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families," said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey L. Bannister, 10th Mountain Division Deputy Commanding General for Operations.

Major General James Terry was part of the fact finding mission, but was not part of the convoy and was not hurt, Drum officials said.

Lt. Col. Bartz served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 (Personnel) with the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). Bartz arrived to Fort Drum June 2009.

Lt. Col. Bartz is survived by his wife and son.

Lt. Col. Bartz' awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, and Army Achievement Medal.

Lt. Col. Belkofer served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-8 (Comptroller) with the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). Belkofer has one previous deployment to Afghanistan from January 2005 to February 2006. He arrived to Fort Drum July 2009.

Lt. Col. Belkofer is survived by his wife and two children.

Lt. Col. Belkofer's awards and decorations include the Bronze Start Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Air Assault Badge, and Parachutist Badge.

Friday, October 31, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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