An Australian soldier serving with the 1st Mentoring Task Force in Afghanistan was killed by an improvised explosive device late last night, Australian time [9 July 2010].
Another solider from the same patrol suffered minor wounds as a result of the blast and is currently receiving medical treatment at Role 2 medical facility at Multi-National Base Tarin Kowt.
The soldiers were part of a dismounted Australian patrol conducting operations in the Chora Valley region of Uruzgan province.
The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, said the loss would be deeply felt by the soldier’s family, his unit, the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.
“To this soldier’s family, I offer my heartfelt sympathies and promise the full support of the Australian Defence Force in the hard days and weeks ahead,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.
“This soldier’s family can be very proud of their loved one. He was a very experienced and professional soldier, who was on his third operational tour in his five years with the Army.
“He fought for our nation and our beliefs and demonstrated daily the core Army values of courage, initiative and teamwork.
“This incident is a sad reminder of the dangers faced by our soldiers in Afghanistan on a daily basis. The threat posed by improvised explosive devices is ever present.
“On the day that we farewell Private Scott Palmer, this latest fatality further deepens the feeling of loss on this already very sad day.”
The body of this fallen Australian soldier will return to Australia in the coming days.
In response to a request from the deceased soldier’s family, his name will not be released at this point. The details of the wounded soldier will not be released. 17 Australian Defence Force personnel have been killed since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001.
43 Australians have been wounded this year.
To date 143 personnel have been wounded since Operation SLIPPER began.
Ministerial Support and Public Affairs,
Department of Defence,