Inquiry Officer’s report into the combat death of Trooper Jason Brown

The Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al David Hur­ley AC DSC, today released the Inquiry Officer’s report into the death of Troop­er Jason Brown who was killed on oper­a­tional ser­vice in Afghanistan on 13 August 2010.

Troop­er Brown was part of the Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group which was con­duct­ing a dis­rup­tion oper­a­tion in a vil­lage in the North­ern Kan­da­har region with mem­bers of the Afghan Provin­cial Response Com­pa­ny and the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force (ISAF).

The Patrol had cleared the area along­side a riv­er, seek­ing a cross­ing point as they moved towards the planned extrac­tion zone. The Patrol had just passed a par­tic­u­lar­ly dense thick­et of veg­e­ta­tion along the riv­er bank when they came under heavy fire from a belt fed weapon approx­i­mate­ly 5–10 metres away. Troop­er Brown was hit by numer­ous rounds in the first sec­onds of the bat­tle.

Troop­er Brown’s patrol mates pro­vid­ed trau­ma aid, and resus­ci­ta­tion until the aero med­ical heli­copter arrived.

“Despite his mates’ best efforts and a rapid aero med­ical evac­u­a­tion, Troop­er Brown was declared dead on arrival at Khan­da­har Air­field” said Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Hur­ley.

“The Inquiry Offi­cer found Troop­er Brown was killed by mul­ti­ple gun­shot wounds as a direct result of insur­gent action.”

The Inquiry Offi­cer found no evi­dence of any per­son fail­ing in the per­for­mance of his or her duties. His report states that the mis­sion was well planned and well exe­cut­ed.

“The Patrol Com­man­der quick­ly took con­trol of the con­tact and react­ed as he was trained while the Troop Com­man­der main­tained sol­id com­mand and con­trol through­out the inci­dent. As a result, the con­tact, aero med­ical evac­u­a­tion and repo­si­tion­ing were con­duct­ed in an extreme­ly pro­fes­sion­al man­ner under dif­fi­cult com­bat con­di­tions.

“I com­mend the mem­bers of this patrol for their actions under insur­gent fire. These sol­diers showed true courage to pull togeth­er and per­form to the lev­el they did in a dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion” said Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Hur­ley.

The Inquiry Offi­cer rec­om­mend­ed that the cir­cum­stances asso­ci­at­ed with Troop­er Brown’s death do not war­rant the appoint­ment of a Com­mis­sion of Inquiry. The Min­is­ter for Defence and the Chief of the Defence Force have accept­ed this rec­om­men­da­tion.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion:
A tran­script of Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Hurley’s speech will be avail­able at: http://www.defence.gov.au/media/index.cfm.

An unclas­si­fied ver­sion of the Inquiry Offi­cer report is avail­able at: http://www.defence.gov.au/coi/index.htm.
Media con­tact: Defence Media Oper­a­tions: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664.

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

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