Afghanistan/Australien — Fallen Australian soldiers commence final journey

Two Aus­tralian sol­diers killed in action by an impro­vised explo­sive device on Mon­day after­noon (Aus­tralian time) have been farewelled by their mates from the 1st Men­tor­ing Task Force at Mul­ti-Nation­al Base Tarin Kowt.

1st Mentoring Task Force
Padre Al Lava­ki from the 1st Men­tor­ing Task Force leads the pro­ces­sion of the cas­kets of Sap­per Moer­land and Sap­per Smith through the Mulit-Nation­al Base in Tarin Kowt.
Source: Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Defence
Click to enlarge

The mov­ing ser­vice to hon­our the ulti­mate sac­ri­fice made by Sap­pers Jacob Moer­land and Dar­ren Smith was attend­ed by all avail­able Aus­tralian per­son­nel and large con­tin­gents of per­son­nel rep­re­sent­ing oth­er nations work­ing from the base. 

Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of the 1st Men­tor­ing Task Force Lieu­tenant Colonel Jason Blain said the two fall­en Sap­pers were excep­tion­al sol­diers who showed absolute courage, ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment to their jobs. 

“Dar­ren and Jacob rep­re­sent the very best of our mil­i­tary and our nation,” Lieu­tenant Colonel Blain said. 

“Our soci­ety speaks far too freely about heroes—we know the real heroes are the men we mourn here today. 

“Men who day in and day out put them­selves in harm’s way and nev­er let their mates down—they are tes­ta­ment to what it means to put ser­vice before self.” 

Lieu­tenant Colonel Blain said the Task Force must not let the sac­ri­fices of Sap­pers Moer­land and Smith be in vain. 

“We must con­tin­ue with this dif­fi­cult and wor­thy mis­sion here in Afghanistan,” Lieu­tenant Colonel Blain said. 

“There is no more wor­thy cause for a sol­dier than bring­ing peace and hope to a peo­ple that know only war and suffering. 

“We must promise not to let their sac­ri­fice be for nothing—we will con­tin­ue our mis­sion now with even more pur­pose and more resolve.” 

Lieu­tenant Colonel Blain also spoke of the impact on the fam­i­lies of the two young sol­diers describ­ing their grief as extreme as the impact of the loss of their loved ones tru­ly hits home. 

“We sim­ply can­not begin to imag­ine the grief they are expe­ri­enc­ing and our thoughts are with them con­stant­ly,” he said. 

Fol­low­ing the ser­vice, the Aus­tralian flag-draped cas­kets of the two fall­en sol­diers were moved through an hon­our guard of Aus­tralian, Afghan and ISAF troops before being placed in an Aus­tralian C130J Her­cules to com­mence their jour­ney home. 

The cas­kets of Sap­pers Moer­land and Smith were flown to the Head­quar­ters of Joint Task Force 633 in Al Min­had Air Base in the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates, where anoth­er hon­our guard wait­ed to receive their fall­en comrades. 

The dig­ni­fied cer­e­mo­ny was observed by the Min­is­ter for Defence, Sen­a­tor John Faulkn­er, the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Mar­shal Angus Hous­ton, and the Sec­re­tary of the Depart­ment of Defence, Dr Ian Watt, who had divert­ed from their planned itin­er­ary to pay their respects. 

Com­man­der Joint Task Force 633 Major Gen­er­al John Cantwell said the oppor­tu­ni­ty for all mem­bers of his force to take time to remem­ber the sac­ri­fices of Sap­pers Moer­land and Smith was espe­cial­ly important. 

Australian C-130 Hercules
A final salute for the fall­en as the cas­ket bear­ers car­ry the fall­en Sap­pers Dar­ren Smith and Jacob Moer­land from the Aus­tralian C‑130 Her­cules at the Aus­tralian Sup­port Base in the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates.
Source: Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Defence
Click to enlarge

“The death of an Aus­tralian ser­vice­man on oper­a­tions affects every­one – to have two out­stand­ing Dig­gers killed in a sin­gle event is espe­cial­ly trag­ic,” Major Gen­er­al Cantwell said. 

“All of us will mourn their deaths, but our hearts espe­cial­ly go out to Jacob and Darren’s fam­i­lies and loved ones at home. 

“As fall­en com­rades Jacob and Dar­ren will have a cease­less vig­il at their sides, until they are returned home.” 

He said engi­neers in par­tic­u­lar have one of the tough­est jobs in Afghanistan, putting their lives on the line every sec­ond of every patrol to keep their mates safe. 

“Jacob and Dar­ren were the epit­o­me of the engi­neer mot­to ‘fol­low the sap­per’,” Major Gen­er­al Cantwell said. 

“They died as they lived, putting their own lives at risk to ensure the safe­ty of their fel­low soldiers. 

“They tru­ly are heroes who have paid the ulti­mate sac­ri­fice in ser­vice not only to their Nation, but also to those with them on that fate­ful patrol.” 

The bod­ies of Sap­pers Moer­land and Smith will con­tin­ue their jour­ney home to Aus­tralia in the com­ing days. 

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

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefence.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →