ANCHORAGE -

A Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson soldier has been charged with two civilian murders during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

On Friday, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera was charged with two counts of premeditated murders. The killing took place when Barbera was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

“The charges result from an investigation into Barbera's alleged shooting of two civilians near the village of As Sadah, Diyala Province on March 6, 2007,” said JBLM officials in a Friday news release. “At the time of the incident, Barbera was assigned to 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.”

Barbera is currently assigned to 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

As of Friday, he was being transferred to JBLM.

Military officials say an Article 32 investigation will take place, which is a “thorough and impartial investigation of charges and specifications before they may be referred to courts-martial,” however no date has been set for the investigation.