An Australian Commando serving with the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) has been killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) strike during operations targeting insurgent networks.
The Australian Commando killed in action was Sergeant Brett Wood.
Two soldiers were also wounded in the blast that occurred during the partnered, dismounted Provincial Response Company — Uruzgan and SOTG patrol on Monday 23 May 2011.
The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, said the loss of the highly respected Commando would be deeply felt across Australia’s Special Forces community and the Australian Defence Force.
“We are deeply saddened by his loss. He was a career soldier, an exceptional leader, a great warrior, a highly valued member of the Task Group and most importantly, a loving husband,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.
“He had dedicated his life to serving his nation, his mates and his family.”
The two soldiers wounded in the blast received immediate first aid and have been transferred to a nearby medical facility. They are expected to recover.
In a separate incident yesterday, three soldiers suffered gunshot and fragmentation wounds during an engagement with insurgents. They were aero-medically evacuated and remain in a stable condition.
Specific details of the operation cannot be released due to operational security reasons. The names of the wounded will be withheld to maintain their protected identity status.
Defence is now focussed on supporting the families of those involved.
Personal details of Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan
Sergeant Brett Wood
It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Sergeant Brett Wood during operations in Afghanistan.
Sergeant Wood was serving with the Special Operations Task Group when he was tragically killed in action as a result of the explosion of an Improvised Explosive Device on Monday 23 May 2011 (Afghanistan time).
Thirty-two year old Sergeant Wood was from the Sydney based 2nd Commando Regiment.
Sergeant Brett Wood leaves behind his loving wife and family, who are currently receiving support from Defence.
Sergeant Brett Wood was born in Ferntree Gully, Victoria in 1978. He joined the Army in 1996 and after recruit training joined 6th Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment. Sergeant Wood successfully undertook Commando Selection and Training and joined the then 4th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (2 Commando) in November 1998.
Sergeant Wood has significant operational experience. His first deployment was to Bougainville in 2000. In 2001 he deployed to East Timor on Operation Tanager and in 2003 to Iraq on Operation Falconer. In 2006 Sergeant Wood deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Slipper. He was awarded The Medal for Gallantry for leadership in action as a Team Commander during this tour.
Sergeant Wood received a Special Operations Commander – Australia, Commendation for service with the Tactical Assault Group – East in 2007 and in 2009 he returned to Afghanistan as a Section Commander.
Sergeant Wood deployed to Afghanistan, for the third time, in March this year.
Sergeant Brett Wood was awarded the Medal for Gallantry, the Australian Active Service Medal with clasps: East Timor, International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT) and Iraq 2003, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Australian Service Medal with clasp Bougainville, the Australian Defence Medal, United Nations East Timor Medal, NATO ISAF Medal, Special Operations Command Australia Commendation and Unit Citation for Gallantry. He has also been awarded the Infantry Combat Badge.
During Sergeant Brett Wood’s service in the Australian Army, he deployed on the following Operations:
a. OPERATION BEL ISI II (Bougainville) – Mar 2000 – Aug 2000
b. OPERATION TANAGER (East Timor) – Apr 2001 – Aug 2001
c. OPERATION FALCONER (Iraq) – Feb 2003 – May 2003
d. OPERATION SLIPPER (Afghanistan) – Apr 2006 – Sep 2006
f. OPERATION SLIPPER (Afghanistan) – Jul 2009 – Nov 2009
g. OPERATION SLIPPER (Afghanistan) – Mar 2011 – May 2011
Ministerial Support and Public Affairs,
Department of Defence,