Defence Media Centre
Tue 5 July 2011

Australian Commando killed in action, another seriously wounded in action in Afghanistan

An Australian Commando Sergeant serving with the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) has been killed in action and another has been seriously wounded in a separate, but related incident in southern Afghanistan overnight.

Sergeant Todd Langley was killed in action when he was struck by insurgent small arms fire during an extended contact.

The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, said the Commando section commander was leading his team in the thick of battle when he was killed in action.

"Sergeant Langley was a brave and professional soldier, who never took a backward step. Despite their grief, his comrades say he will continue to inspire them," General Hurley said.

Sergeant Langley was an exceptionally experienced and decorated soldier. He was on his fifth deployment to Afghanistan and had also undertaken two deployments to East Timor. He was awarded two Commendations for Distinguished Service, firstly in 2002 and then 2008. He was also awarded a Unit Citation for Gallantry in 2006.

General Hurley said the focus of the Defence Force was now on supporting Sergeant Langley's family.

"There are difficult days ahead for them and for us, but we will do everything we can to care and support his family and his mates throughout this time and beyond," General Hurley said.

Sergeant Langley's SOTG mates describe him as an exemplary warrior, a true leader who always brought out the best in those around him.

Sergeant Langley's family has requested that no further personal details be released at this time.

Earlier in the contact, another Australian Commando was struck by insurgent small arms fire and seriously wounded in action.

General Hurley said he was quickly moved from immediate danger and given life-saving first aid by his Commando team mates.

He was evacuated from the battlefield and after receiving emergency trauma care, he is now recovering well in the Kandahar Role 3 Medical Facility. The wounded soldier has notified his family and they are receiving support from Defence.

Defence will not disclose further details of the incident at this time as it could jeopardise the safety of those who are continuing the operation.