The Iraq War has claimed the life of Naval Reserve Commander Duane Wolf, a member of a unit from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Wolf, the deputy commander of Vandenberg’s 30th Mission Support Group, was killed in action by an improvised explosive device (IED) attack at Al Asad Air Base in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. “Duane’s death will leave a hole in the Mission Support Group that can never be filled,” said Colonel Rick Wright, the 30th Mission Support Group commander. “He was a great team member and an even greater friend. His 24 years of service at Vandenberg Air Force Base will be missed dearly.” The 30th Space Wing’s Mission Support Group is Vandenberg’s most heavily deployed unit.
The Army Times reported earlier this month that although the incidence of IED attacks are three to four times higher than in 2003, when the war began, the number of casualties is down. Christine Devries, formerly a spokesperson for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, said in the Times article that IEDs have become more sophisticated and powerful as the war has progressed, including such technology as daisychaining devices and explosive armor penetrators. Coalition forces have responded with technology to counter those improvements, but Devries indicated that her agency’s primary focus is in finding the fabricators of the explosive devices.
A memorial service will be held for Cdr. Wolf, although details have not yet been released.