Private Tim Aplin, Private Ben Chuck, and Private Scott Palmer of the 2nd Commando Regiment returned home today, met by their families and members of their unit, in a solemn and dignified ceremony at RAAF Base Richmond.
Commandos from 2nd Commando Regiment formed an honour guard and bearer party to receive and carry the three caskets from the Royal Australian Air Force C‑17 Globemaster aircraft.
Minister for Defence, Senator John Faulkner; Mrs Louise Markus, Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and local member for Greenway representing the Shadow Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston; The Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston; The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie and Special Operations Commander Australia, Major General Tim McOwan attended the Ramp Ceremony.
Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie spoke of the significance of the Ramp Ceremony in welcoming Private Aplin, Private Chuck and Private Palmer home to their families.
“The Ramp Ceremony is a military tradition, where the families of the fallen and the Army family gather to welcome home those who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of our nation,” said General Gillespie.
Special Operations Commander, Major General Tim McOwan described the loss felt by the 2nd Commando Regiment.
“They are in mourning and they are suffering greatly from a significant loss for the Regiment and we should not forget that we have seven other soldiers who are wounded in action.
“It is a traumatic event for a Regiment that is as close as the 2nd Commando Regiment. They are a resilient organisation, thoroughly professional and they will continue to soldier on behalf of the nation.
“Our immediate thoughts are with their families. These three young men were professional soldiers and they knew the risks inherent in their job. The families should not have to suffer the tragedies that they do and we will all carry this sorrow for the rest of our lives,” said General McOwan.
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