FORT DRUM, N.Y. - Two 10th Mountain Division Soldiers were killed when a suicide vehicle-born improvised explosive device exploded near their convoy in Kabul May 18.

Killed were:

Lt. Col. Paul R. Bartz, 43, of Wisconsin.

Lt. Col. Thomas P. Belkofer, 44, of Ohio.

Bartz and Belkofer were part of a team from the 10th Mountain Division headquarters to conduct key leader training and set the conditions for the 10th Mountain Division 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.

Bartz served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 (Personnel) with the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (LI). Bartz arrived to Fort Drum June 2009. He is survived by his wife and son. His awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal and Army Achievement Medal.

Belkofer served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-8 (Comptroller) with the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (LI). Belkofer has one previous deployment to Afghanistan from January 2005 to February 2006. He arrived to Fort Drum July 2009. He is survived by his wife and two children. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Air Assault Badge and Parachutist Badge.

Page last updated Thu May 20th, 2010 at 16:54