Afghanistan — Improvised explosive device kills Mentoring Task Force soldier

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.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia