Monday, July 18, 2005

Press Release From Iraq (and Video!)

Official Media Release

Media Release
256th Brigade Combat Team
Camp Tigerland
Baghdad, Iraq
APO, AE 09326

RELEASE 20050705-01

256th BCT Soldier survives sniper attack
Spc. Chris Foster
256th Brigade Combat Team PAO

BAGHDAD -- Being able to react to and maintain control of a situation in a combat environment can be a difficult task for Soldiers. They must be able to quickly react and assess a situation, in order to ensure their survival and the safety of those around them.

"Stay alert, stay alive" is the reminder that is driven into the minds of Soldiers since the first day of basic training and echoes throughout their military careers.

This axiom was driven home for at least one Soldier on June 2. Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer, a native of Mendon, N.Y., and a medic with E Troop, 101st "Saber" Cavalry Division, attached to 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, 256th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, was shot in the chest by an enemy sniper, during a routine patrol in west Baghdad.

While Tschiderer was relaying information to the truck commander of his M114 Humvee, an enemy sniper team prepared to engage him from inside of a cushioned silver van being used as a mobile sniper's nest. This nest was lined with numerous bed mattresses to muffle the sound of a Dragonoff sniper rifle fired through a hole just big enough for the shooter to engage his target of choice.

Tschiderer was knocked to the ground from the sudden impact of the sniper's bullet. The bullet only seemed to have fazed this Soldier as, adrenaline pumping, he sprang right back up in order to take cover and locate the enemy's position.

The sniper was unsuccessful in his mission, due to the stopping force of the Tschiderer's daily wardrobe, his protective body armor, which saved his life. "I knew I was hit, but was uncertain of the damage or location from the hit," Tschiderer said. "The only thing that was going through my mind was to take cover and locate the sniper's position."

"The shot came from my 12 o'clock position from a silver van parked across an intersection about 75 meters from my location." said Tschiderer. After Tschiderer alerted his fellow Soldiers of the enemy location, they immediately began to pursue the terrorists.

Due to his heroic actions and quick decisions, Tschiderer located the enemy while he took cover and alerted the rest of his team on patrol. As the Saber team engaged and disabled the sniper's position, two terrorists fled on foot, leaving a blood trail that came from the wounds of the enemy sniper.

A cordon and search was immediately set up and Tschiderer assisted his team in the search of the two terrorists. The driver of the silver vehicle was detained by a team from B Co. 3-156th Inf. Bn. while Tschiderer and a team from B Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Iraqi Army Brigade, continued to follow the blood trail which led them to the yard where the wounded sniper lay in pain.

As Tschiderer secured the terrorist with a pair of handcuffs, he gave medical aid to the wounded terrorist-the same one who'd tried to take his life.

You can see video of this attack here.

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