Air Power bomb disposal tech charged in April insider assault in Syria

The navy has charged Tech. Sgt. David Wayne Dezwaan, Jr., an Air Power explosive ordnance disposal technician, in reference to April’s insider assault on U.S. troops in Syria.

Dezwaan, an energetic obligation member of the 775th Civil Engineer Squadron at Hill Air Power Base, Utah, most not too long ago served as his squadron’s noncommissioned officer answerable for EOD gear, the Air Power mentioned Thursday.

He’s accused of a number of violations of the Uniform Code of Army Justice, together with: dereliction of obligation; destroying navy property; reckless endangerment; unauthorized entry of a authorities pc; acquiring categorized info; and aggravated assault.

CNN beforehand reported a perpetrator arrange military-grade explosives extra highly effective than a hand grenade close to ammunition storage and showers at Inexperienced Village, a small American outpost in northern Syria. Blasts injured 4 service members, who have been handled for traumatic mind accidents and returned to work later in April.

About 900 U.S. personnel stay in Syria to advise and help the Syrian Democratic Forces preventing authorities troops within the nation’s civil battle.

The Air Power didn’t reply how lengthy Dezwaan was deployed to Syria on the time of the assault. He was arrested within the U.S. on June 16 and positioned in pretrial confinement. A Hill spokesperson declined to say the place the suspect is being held.

Dezwaan is scheduled to look at an Article 32 listening to at Hill on Aug. 23, the place a navy decide will determine whether or not proof is enough to maneuver on to a court-martial. The continuing is the navy justice system’s equal of a preliminary listening to forward of trial in civilian courtroom.

Dezwaan enlisted within the Air Power in October 2007, two years after graduating from highschool in western Michigan, in response to a 2010 article within the Holland Sentinel.

Whereas stationed at Kadena Air Base, Japan, in 2010, Dezwaan obtained the Air Power Fight Motion Medal in recognition of his deployment with the Marine Corps to Afghanistan’s Helmand province the earlier 12 months.

He informed the Holland Sentinel he obtained the medal for a mission wherein he helped clear a route between Ahead Working Bases Delaram and Golestan in southern Afghanistan.

“Twelve hours into the route clearance, we got here to what’s known as Buji Bast Cross. That is the doorway into the Black Cross,” Dezwaan mentioned within the question-and-answer article. “The world is understood for frequent and lethal rebel exercise.”

However the route between the 2 mountains is the one approach to get between the 2 bases, so sweepers walked forward of the convoy with metallic detectors to seek out any IEDs.

“Midway by means of Buji Bast Cross, my car was struck by an IED blast which detonated proper beneath the entrance proper tire. The 40-pound blast utterly immobilized the car,” Dezwaan mentioned.

A 2010 Air Power press launch mentioned he wasn’t certain what had occurred, however the explosion induced Dezwaan to hit his head.

“We skilled solely minor accidents, starting from some bruising to a lower and busted-open lip,” he informed the Holland Sentinel.

The convoy waited for a restoration group to reach about 24 hours later. After an hour, although, the troops got here beneath oblique mortar hearth and gunshots from the mountains above them.

“We returned hearth, making the terrorists withdraw,” Dezwaan mentioned. “When our restoration property got here, the supporting EOD group’s car was struck by an IED, additionally 40 kilos of bulk home made explosives, roughly 75 meters away from the location of our disabled car.”

That car was immobilized as properly.

“They linked up with our convoy to proceed the mission as we waited for extra restoration property,” he added.

Dezwaan obtained a number of different navy medals, together with the Joint Service Achievement Medal for “excellent achievement or meritorious service,” in response to the Air Power, plus seven different achievement and commendation medals from the Army, Navy and Air Power.

It’s unclear if the Air Power Workplace of Particular Investigations and the Army’s Prison Investigation Division are trying into every other suspects.

“Airmen who’ve prices most well-liked towards them are presumed harmless until and till confirmed responsible,” Air Power spokesperson Ann Stefanek mentioned Thursday.

Rachel Cohen joined Air Power Instances as senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in Air Power Journal, Inside Protection, Inside Well being Coverage, the Frederick News-Put up (Md.), the Washington Put up, and others.