23 January 2007, Baghdad, Iraq, east of the Tigris River.

Six years ago, January 23rd, 2007, was one of the darkest days in the history of diplomatic security. On that day, five men working as security contractors for the U.S State department were killed in Baghdad, Iraq.

The morning had started like any other for the State Department’s security teams. Various Protective Security Detail (PSD) teams leaving what was then known as the Green Zone (now called the International Zone, or IZ,) and escorting their principles to various meetings outside the zone into the city.

The PSD teams in Baghdad had been involved in many contacts with the enemy before. But nothing of the size and scope of what was to erupt that winter morning. A routine meeting east of the Tigris River took a turn for the worse when PSD Team #1 got word of contact from the roof.