Army photo by Sgt. J.H. French

On Jan. 28, 2007, a 12-man Military Transition Team, or MiTT, composed of paratroopers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division was called upon to assist an Iraqi army unit that was engaged in a fierce battle with insurgents near the city of Najaf.

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Photo by GySgt Robert K. Blankenship

On August 25, 2004, a decade ago today, Lance Cpl. Alex Arredondo was killed in action in Najaf, Iraq, while checking on his Marines’ defensive positions during the final push in the Battle of An Najaf. Arredondo was a team leader in 1st Platoon, Alpha Company “Raiders”, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines. His platoon had recently been fighting from a four-story hotel room during our final push into the old city to surround Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi militia in the Imam Ali mosque, following days of fighting through streets and buildings to secure their current position. The fighting of that month was some of the fiercest and bloodiest in the entire war.

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