From: Defence Media Centre
Date: Wed 4/07/2012 7:39 PM

Personal details of Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan – Sergeant Blaine Flower Diddams

It is with deep regret that the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Sergeant Blaine Diddams who was killed during an engagement with insurgents on operations in Afghanistan on 2 July 2012.

Sergeant Diddams was a member of the Special Operations Task Group and was from the Perth-based Special Air Service Regiment (SASR). He was employed as a SASR Patrol Commander.

Sergeant Diddams is survived by his wife Toni-Ann, their daughter Elle-Lou and son Henry, his parents Peter and Cate, and siblings Nikki, Sian, Christian and Luke.

Sergeant Diddams was born in Canberra, ACT, in 1971. He enlisted in the Army on 24 April 1990 and after completing his initial employment training for infantry was posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment in Townsville, Queensland on 2 November 1990. Sergeant Diddams successfully completed his SASR selection course and was posted to the Regiment in 1995.

This was his seventh tour to Afghanistan since 2001, although he had deployed previously on four occasions to Somalia, East Timor and the Solomon Islands.

Sergeant Diddams, ‘Didds’ to his mates, was a devoted family man and a dedicated professional soldier. Known for his outwards personality and quirky sense of humour, he was held in the highest regard by his mates and comrades alike.

Sergeant Diddams has been awarded the following honours and awards:
• Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp Somalia, Clasp East Timor, Clasp ICAT
• International Forces East Timor (INTERFET) Medal
• Afghanistan Campaign Medal
• Australian Service Medal with Clasp Solomon Islands, Clasp ‘CT/SR’
• Defence Long Service Medal
• Australian Defence Medal
• NATO ISAF Medal
• Meritorious Unit Citation
• Infantry Combat Badge, and
• Returned from Active Service Badge.

During Sergeant Diddams’ service in the Australian Army he deployed on the following Operations:
• Operation Solace (Somalia) – Jan – May 1993 • Operation Warden (East Timor) – Jan – Feb 2000
• Operation Tanager (East Timor) – February – May 2000
• Operation Trek (Solomon Islands) – 2002
• Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) – Nov 2001 – Apr 2002
• Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) – May – Oct 2007
• Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) – Jan – April 2008
• Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) – May – July 2008
• Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) – Jun – Nov 2009
• Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) – Jan – Jul 2011
• Operation Amulet (CHOGM Perth) – 2011
• Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) – Feb 2012 – April 2012.

Images of Sergeant Blaine Diddams are available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/12130051

Media contact:
Defence Media Operations: 02 6127 1999