David L Brodeur
April 27, 2011
Killed at Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from gunfire.
|Air Force Major David L. Brodeur, formerly of Auburn, MA, died April 27, 2011 at Kabul Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was on deployment to Afghanistan from Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage, Alaska. Major Brodeur had been assigned, while in Afghanistan, as an advisor to the Afghan Command and Control Center under the NATO Air Training Command.
Prior to deployment, he served as Executive Officer, Eleventh Air Force, Joint Base Elmendorf -Richardson, Alaska.
Major Brodeur was born on December 10, 1976 in Worcester and grew up in Auburn. He is survived by his wife, Susan (Williams) Brodeur and his children: Elizabeth 7, and David, Jr. 4. He is also survived by his parents, Lawrence A. and Joyce A. (Samaha) Brodeur, long-time Auburn residents who currently reside in Sutton; a brother, Todd E. Brodeur and his wife Jo-Ellen of Shrewsbury, MA and his sister, Amanda G. Brodeur. Major Brodeur also leaves behind a large extended family including his grandmother, Constance C. Brodeur, and many aunts, uncles, nephews, and cousins.
Major Brodeur was educated in the Auburn public schools graduating with honors from Auburn High in 1994. While in high school he played soccer and was an accomplished track and field athlete who won Southern Worcester County League and District Class B individual championships. He served as Treasurer and President of the Student Council and was a member of the National Honor Society; represented Auburn High at the Annual Student Government Day Program sponsored by the Massachusetts State Legislature and received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for his service to Auburn High and the Town of Auburn.
After a year of prep school at Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, PA he entered the United States Military Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado graduating in 1999 with a degree in Political Science. Major Brodeur earned a Master of Business Administration and Management from Touro University and had completed Air Command Staff College. Major Brodeur graduated from pilot training at Columbus AFB in Columbus, Mississippi in April 2001, and F-16 Fighter training from Luke AFB in Arizona. Major Brodeur was an experienced F-16 pilot with deployments to Iraq where he flew combat missions during the initial days and months of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Among his commendations and awards are the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, and Combat Action Medal.
Major Brodeur was an F-16 instructor, Flight Commander, and Weapons ADO for the 18th Aggressor Squadron. He was a Senior Pilot with more than 1600 flight hours in fighter aircraft. He had a fascination with aviation as a child which turned into the goal of becoming a fighter pilot and led eventually to his career as an aviator and Air Force officer.
Despite David's passion for flying and pride for his country, his greatest love in life was his family. He was a devoted husband to his wife of 11 years and proud father of Elizabeth and David. He was a loving son and brother who placed the needs of others and service to God and country before self.
Though tragic to have lost him so young, it is comforting to know that his kind, humorous, and courageous spirit, with which he touched so many, will live on through his children.
His all-too-short life was a life well lived.
|Afghan pilot kills 9 Americans at NATO base
By Joshua Partlow and Javed Hamdard
The Washington Post / April 28, 2011
KABUL — A veteran Afghan air force pilot opened fire yesterday inside a NATO military base, killing eight US service members and an American civilian contractor who had gathered for a morning meeting, Afghan and US officials said.
The shooting was the deadliest in a string of recent killings carried out by members of the Afghan security forces against their colleagues and coalition partners. In April alone, there have been four separate attacks inside NATO or Afghan military bases by Afghan servicemen or insurgents dressed like them.
And in another major security breach, nearly 500 prisoners were freed from a heavily guarded jail when Taliban insurgents tunneled into it Monday — a mission that Afghan officials believe occurred with the cooperation of prison guards.
Fourteen Americans have been killed this month by members of the Afghan military.
Taken together, the spate of fraternal violence points to a serious problem with the loyalty of some members of the Afghan security forces and their vulnerability to infiltration by the Taliban. The problem, for the moment, appears to have no simple solution.
The Afghan military has begun an assessment to identify vulnerabilities in bases, register every member in a biometric database, and develop a counterintelligence force. But such measures are time-consuming and still cannot prevent soldiers from spontaneously turning on their comrades and partners.
The attack yesterday morning turned a routine meeting on the first floor of the Air Force building — on the military side of Kabul’s airport — into a scene of bloodshed and mayhem. The American advisers had gathered there as they do daily, according to Afghan officers present, when a pilot who had served for about two decades in the Afghan air force suddenly opened fire.
Another account, provided by a Defense Ministry spokesman, said the air force officer got into a heated argument during the meeting, left the room, then came back and started shooting.
From his third-floor office, an Afghan air force general heard the gunfire and saw people jumping out of windows to escape the fusillade. In addition to the Americans who were killed, an Afghan soldier died and five others were wounded. A US reaction force surrounded the building and neighboring offices and prevented people from leaving while they secured the scene. Another Afghan officer on the compound identified the shooter as Ahmad Gul.
One Afghan air force intelligence officer at the meeting said the shooter opened fire with no warning and jumped out the window in a panic to escape, injuring his leg in the process, according to the officer’s son, Samin Haq Barwar.
The Afghan air force, with about 4,000 members, is the smallest and least developed of the Afghan security forces. It has a small fleet of cargo planes and helicopters, although Afghan defense officials have been pushing for the United States to buy the force fighter jets.
The other recent attacks carried out by Afghans in uniform have targeted the Afghan government and military, as well as foreign troops. Gunmen have penetrated the Ministry of Defense in Kabul, the Kandahar police headquarters, and an Afghan army base in Laghman province.
US military officials say they have been expecting the Taliban to increase efforts to infiltrate Afghan security forces, either to steal information or plan attacks. Officials generally classify such efforts in one of three ways: “pure’’ infiltration, when a recruit joins the security forces in order to carry out Taliban missions; “mimicry,’’ when an insurgent wears a security uniform as a disguise to gain access to bases; and “co-option,’’ when insurgents persuade a security forces member to help with a mission.
The gunman who opened fire in the Defense Ministry headquarters earlier this month was not a soldier but is believed to have been wearing an Afghan army uniform, while the suicide bomber who killed Kandahar’s provincial police chief was actually a member of the police force.
The suicide bombing at the army base in Laghman province, which killed five American soldiers and four Afghan soldiers, was carried out by an Afghan soldier who had been on the force for 14 months, said a Western intelligence official.
In some cases, violence directed against the U.S-led coalition and its Afghan allies appears to stem from personal problems rather than Taliban ties. The Afghan border police officer who killed six American soldiers in Nangarhar province in November had a fight with his father on the morning of the shooting. Later in the day, he reached a “boiling point’’ and opened fire, the Western intelligence official said.
“The numbers of true infiltration are relatively small, but we predict they will attempt to increase that tactic during the year,’’ the official said.
© Copyright 2011 Globe Newspaper Company.
|Memorial held for airman killed in Afghanistan
The Associated Press
AUBURN, Mass. — About 750 people attended a memorial service for a senior U.S. Air Force officer from Auburn who was killed by an Afghan military pilot said to be distressed over his personal finances.
Maj. David Brodeur, seven other U.S. troops and an American civilian contractor were fatally shot April 27 at the airport in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
The service Saturday for the 34-year-old Brodeur was held at the North American Martyrs Church in Auburn and attended by Gov. Deval Patrick and U.S. Sens. Scott Brown and John Kerry.
About 200 people, some holding American flags, stood on a quarter-mile stretch of street leading to the church
Brodeur was married with two children. His wife, Susan, says Brodeur was an adviser to the Afghan Command and Control center under NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan.
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