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2-star tapped to lead Bergdahl investigation

Jun. 16, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl
Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl (Staff Sgt. Faiza Z. Evans / Army)
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The Army has initiated its investigation of the “facts and circumstances surrounding the disappearance and capture” of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the service announced Monday.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl will conduct the investigation, the Army said in a statement. Dahl, the deputy commanding general of I Corps, has served three deployments in Afghanistan and one in Iraq.

The 15-6 investigation will look at Bergdahl’s disappearance and capture from Combat Outpost Mest-Lalak in Paktika province, Afghanistan.

Bergdahl disappeared June 30, 2009, and was held captive for almost five years. He was freed May 31 in exchange for five Taliban prisoners who were being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

His release has sparked fierce debate about whether he willingly walked away from his post and unit, and whether the U.S. government should have freed the five Taliban prisoners for him.

During the investigation, Dahl will have access to previously gathered evidence, including the initial 2009 investigation into Bergdahl’s disappearance, Army officials said.

There is no timeline for the investigation; Dahl will not interview Bergdahl until the reintegration team clears him to do so, the Army statement said.

“The Army’s top priority remains Sgt. Bergdahl’s health and reintegration,” according to the statement. “We ask that everyone respect the time and privacy necessary to accomplish the objectives of the last phase of reintegration.”

Bergdahl is undergoing phase three of his reintegration at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He arrived there June 13 after recovering initially at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

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