Australian Commando killed by insurgent Improvised Explosive Device

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

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

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