From: Defence Media Centre
Date: Sun 23/06/2013 11:00 AM

One soldier killed, two wounded in Afghanistan

An Australian Special Forces soldier has been killed in action by small arms fire during an insurgent engagement in Afghanistan on Saturday, 22 June 2013.

During the same engagement, an Australian Special Forces soldier was seriously wounded and a Royal Australian Air Force airman operating with the Joint Terminal Attack Control Team was wounded. Both are receiving medical treatment.

Members of the patrol provided immediate first aid to the casualties who were aero-medically evacuated to the Role 2 Medical Facility at Multi National Base – Tarin Kot. Sadly despite their efforts, they could not save one of their mates.

The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, has extended his deepest sympathy to the soldier’s family.

“We share their loss and we feel their pain, and we will support them through the difficult days ahead. My thoughts and prayers are also with our wounded personnel and their families. I wish them a speedy recovery,” General Hurley said.

The fallen soldier is from the Sydney-based 2nd Commando Regiment.

“His mates describe him as one of the most iconic figures in the Regiment.

“He was on his fifth tour of Afghanistan having previously served in Iraq and Timor-Leste. In combat, and as a Team Commander, he was the man to watch and never happier than when the situation demanded decisive action and courage,” General Hurley said.

The members of the Australian Special Operations Task Group and the Afghan Provincial Response Company were conducting a partnered operation to disrupt an insurgent network operating in the Khod Valley in southern Afghanistan. This network is known to have direct influences on insurgent activity in Uruzgan province.

Disruption operations are important to support the Afghan National Security Forces as they take responsibility for security and to enable the safe extraction of ISAF personnel.

“Each one of our fallen soldiers has made a difference. Their dedication to service and our nation should be a great source of pride. I intend to see their work honoured and see our mission through to completion,” General Hurley said.

All the members’ families have been notified and Defence is providing them with support and assistance.

The family of the soldier who was killed in action has asked that his name not be released at present. Defence requests that media respect their wishes and their privacy at this very difficult time.

No personal details will be released on the wounded soldier or airman.

Arrangements will be made in the coming days to bring the fallen soldier home to his family and friends. An Inquiry Officer will also be appointed to fully examine the circumstances surrounding this engagement.

Media contact: Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999