From: Defence Media Centre
Sent: Tue 24/05/2011 10:42 AM

Media Release: Australian Commando killed by insurgent Improvised Explosive Device

An Australian Commando serving with the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) has been killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) strike during operations targeting insurgent networks.

The Australian Commando killed in action was Sergeant Brett Wood.

Two soldiers were also wounded in the blast that occurred during the partnered, dismounted Provincial Response Company - Uruzgan and SOTG patrol on Monday 23 May 2011.

The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, said the loss of the highly respected Commando would be deeply felt across Australia’s Special Forces community and the Australian Defence Force.

“We are deeply saddened by his loss. He was a career soldier, an exceptional leader, a great warrior, a highly valued member of the Task Group and most importantly, a loving husband,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

“He had dedicated his life to serving his nation, his mates and his family.”

The two soldiers wounded in the blast received immediate first aid and have been transferred to a nearby medical facility. They are expected to recover.

In a separate incident yesterday, three soldiers suffered gunshot and fragmentation wounds during an engagement with insurgents. They were aero-medically evacuated and remain in a stable condition.

Specific details of the operation cannot be released due to operational security reasons. The names of the wounded will be withheld to maintain their protected identity status.

Defence is now focussed on supporting the families of those involved.

Media contact: Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664