A truly cryptic press release via Multinational Force Iraq --
SOUTHWEST ASIA - Three Airmen were killed Nov. 1 while performing combat operations in the vicinity of Balad Air Base, Iraq.
All three were assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Balad AB.
Not a hint of an explanation as to what US Air Force investigative personnel were doing in what sounds like ground operations near their base. Even stranger is their affiliation within the USAF. Here's more about that Office of Special Investigations --
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations has been the Air Force's major investigative service since Aug.1, 1948. The agency reports to the Inspector General, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.
OSI provides professional investigative service to commanders of all Air Force activities. Its primary responsibilities are criminal investigations and counterintelligence services.
And OSI's own press release on the 3 deaths is a little bit different --
11/2/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Three Airmen were killed Nov. 1 while performing federal law enforcement operations in the vicinity of Balad Air Base, Iraq.
Very odd to specify that it was a law enforcement and not simply a military operation, in which they do occasionally find themselves. Something about this is very fishy.
UPDATE: There is now a more extensive news release giving the names of the deceased and includes the details that one was a civilian and they were killed by an IED.