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Top U.S. surgeon in Iraq among 12 killed in helicopter crash

Top U.S. surgeon in Iraq among 12 killed in helicopter crash

The top U.S. surgeon in Iraq was among the 12 soldiers killed when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed near Baghdad, the Pentagon confirmed this week.
Col. Brian D. Allgood, 46, had spent more than 20 years in the military and had been serving in Iraq for about six months before Saturday's crash, said his uncle, Dr. Richard Allgood.
"He just really was a wonderful young man," Richard Allgood said. "I think that he always wanted to be in the military and I think that's what he thought his life and function was going to be."
The military said 12 soldiers were killed in the crash in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad. A Pentagon official has said debris at the crash site indicated the helicopter was downed by a surface-to-air missile, but American military officials in Baghdad have declined to confirm that.
In more than two decades in the military, Allgood had served as the commanding officer of the hospital at West Point military academy, his uncle said. He was the commanding officer of medical facilities in Korea for two years before being sent to Iraq.
Brian Allgood's wife, Jane, and son, Wyatt, were living in Germany, where he was to be stationed in July, Allgood's uncle said.
He was one of two active-duty soldiers killed in the crash. The 10 others were members of the National Guard, making it the deadliest single combat incident for the Guard since at least the Korean War of 1950-1953, Mark Allen, a National Guard Bureau spokesman, said Thursday.
The military has relied heavily in the Iraq war on the Guard, which provided about 50 percent of the Army's combat power in the campaign during 2005, Allen said.
The percentage has been scaled back. As of Jan. 12, there were 22,500 Army National Guard soldiers deployed among the 132,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and another 10,000 in transit.
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Associated Press Writer Pauline Jelinek in Washington contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-05-16 19:56 GMT+08:00