Alexander Blake Klass
July 4, 2020
Died as the result of a non-combat related incident at Camp Novo Selo, Kosovo. The incident is under investigation.
|From KPTV TV FOX 12 kptv.com 07/06/20
Army National Guard soldier from Oregon dies in non-combat incident in Kosovo
FOX 12 Staff
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - An Army National Guard soldier from Oregon died in Kosovo, according to the Department of Defense.
Pfc. Alexander Blake Klass, 20, of Willamina, died in a non-combat incident at Camp Novo Selo on July 4, it was reported Monday.
Pfc. Klass was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oregon National Guard, in Springfield.
Klass joined the Oregon Army National Guard on Jan. 19, 2019 as an infantryman. He mobilized in January and was scheduled to return home from Kosovo in November.
The Department of Defense stated Klass was a soldier who was supporting Operation Joint Guardian.
“This is a tragic situation and our primary focus is supporting the family during this difficult time," said Brig. Gen. William J. Prendergast IV, Land Component Commander, Oregon Army National Guard.
No further information was released by the Department of Defense and the family has requested a period of privacy.
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|From the Stars & Stripes stripes.com 07/06/20
Oregon National Guardsman dies in noncombat-related incident in Kosovo
By STARS AND STRIPES
Published: July 6, 2020
A 20-year-old Oregon National Guard soldier died over the weekend while serving with the Operation Joint Guardian peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, the Pentagon said Monday evening.
Pfc. Alexander Blake Klass, of Willamina, Ore., died Saturday “as the result of a noncombat related incident” at Camp Novo Selo in the country’s north, a statement said. The incident is under investigation.
“This is a tragic situation and our primary focus is supporting the family during this difficult time," said Brig. Gen. William J. Prendergast IV, Land Component Command Commander of the Oregon Army National Guard, in a separate statement.
Klass was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team out of Springfield, Ore., the statement said.
After training in Texas and Germany earlier this year, the battalion deployed with its headquarters to the Balkans as part of Operation Joint Guardian, where about 650 Americans make up the largest part of the Kosovo Force, or KFOR, the NATO-led international peacekeeping mission that began in 1999 after NATO’s 78-day air campaign to push Yugoslav forces from Kosovo. KFOR now consists of some 3,500 troops from 27 countries, NATO said in a June fact sheet.
Klass joined the Guard in January 2019 as an infantryman, Maj. Stephen Bomar, a spokesman for Oregon’s military department, said in an emailed statement. He mobilized for the Kosovo deployment this January and was scheduled to return home in November, Bomar said.
No other information was provided, such as the circumstances surrounding the death.
“The family has requested a period of privacy for healing and reflection,” the statement said. “We ask that the community respects the family’s wishes at this time.”
The soldier’s high school track team updated its profile photo on social media to one of Klass running at a 2018 meet in Dayton, Ore.
“This young man was kind, tough and friendly to everyone,” said an accompanying post on the Willamina High School track Facebook page. “WHS Track Family cannot even fathom this loss.”
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