Press Conference on the death of two Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Min­is­ter for Defence and Chief of the Defence Force — Two Aus­tralian sol­diers killed in Afghanistan 30 May 2011
AIR CHIEF MARSHAL ANGUS HOUSTON: Ladies and Gen­tle­men, good morn­ing. The Aus­tralian Defence Force had a very bad day in Afghanistan yes­ter­day and it is with immense sor­row that I’m here this morn­ing to announce the death of two Aus­tralian sol­diers in Afghanistan in two sep­a­rate inci­dents overnight.

In the first inci­dent, which occurred ear­ly yes­ter­day evening, a mem­ber of the Men­tor­ing Task Force, while under­tak­ing guard duty at patrol base MASHAL in the Chorah Val­ley was shot by an Afghan Nation­al Army sol­dier who was also man­ning the secu­ri­ty guard tow­er.

Despite receiv­ing sub­stan­tial med­ical treat­ment at the base and being air­lift­ed very quick­ly to a near­by ISAF med­ical facil­i­ty at Tarin Kot in well under an hour, the Aus­tralian sol­dier died from his wounds.

The Afghan Nation­al Army sol­dier who fired his weapon fled the scene of the inci­dent. Anoth­er Afghan Nation­al Army sol­dier who had dis­cov­ered what had hap­pened, but was not in the area dur­ing the inci­dent fired upon the offend­ing ANA sol­dier as he was flee­ing. Addi­tion­al­ly a secu­ri­ty oper­a­tion was launched in an effort to impede the sus­pect­ed gunman’s escape. How­ev­er, the per­pe­tra­tor was not appre­hend­ed, but he was iden­ti­fied. Like the death of all our sol­diers in Afghanistan, the death of this sol­dier is both sad and trag­ic. Of course, the par­tic­u­lar cir­cum­stances of this inci­dent are also dis­turb­ing giv­en that the per­pe­tra­tor in ques­tion was thought to be our part­ner and was the recip­i­ent of our men­tor­ing and train­ing.

Though we have the broad detail of what occurred, I’m sure you will under­stand that I can’t speak today about the moti­va­tion of this Afghan Nation­al Army sol­dier, nor any asso­ci­a­tions he may have or the amount of plan­ning that did or didn’t go into the attack.

The entire event is under inves­ti­ga­tion and we’re obvi­ous­ly going to take a very close look at how this occurred, why this occurred, and what, if any­thing, could have been done to pre­vent it. Today, to the fam­i­ly of the Aus­tralian sol­dier who have been noti­fied about this soldier’s death overnight, on behalf of all the men and women of the Aus­tralian Defence Force, I offer my con­do­lences for their loss. While I can’t ease their grief at this very sad time, I want them to know the Aus­tralian Defence Force will be there to pro­vide com­fort and sup­port as their loved one is laid to rest.

I’m not in a posi­tion to share his name with you this morn­ing but I can share a lit­tle bit about his expe­ri­ence and what kind of sol­dier he was.

This young man was 25 years old and at the rank of Lance Cor­po­ral. He had served in the Army for sev­en years. He had pre­vi­ous oper­a­tional expe­ri­ence in East Tim­or and start­ed his rota­tion in Afghanistan in Novem­ber last year. I’m told he was a loy­al, reli­able, and very trust­ed mem­ber of his unit.

He was pro­mot­ed last year to his cur­rent rank and dis­played great lead­er­ship poten­tial. Though he was qui­et and reserved, he enjoyed a joke with his mates and was always the first among them to vol­un­teer when work was required to be done.

He will be very sad­ly missed by his many Army mates. This will also be a tough time for the Men­tor­ing Task Force. Not only have they lost a mate, but they have also had to deal with this per­pe­tra­tor. They will be expe­ri­enc­ing a myr­i­ad of emo­tions, grief and anger, fore­most among them.

But I know that they will also want to reaf­firm their com­mit­ment to the Afghan part­ners with whom they do enjoy a pro­duc­tive, trust­ing and close rela­tion­ship. They will not want this one ter­ri­ble inci­dent to dam­age the out­stand­ing progress made by many rota­tions of men­tors and their Afghan part­ners.

We remain com­mit­ted to our men­tor­ing role and I can’t stress high­ly enough the impor­tance of the Men­tor­ing Task Force to achiev­ing our mis­sion in Afghanistan.

The rela­tion­ship between the Afghan Nation­al Army sol­diers of the 4th Brigade is one of the longest run­ning in Afghanistan and there is a gen­uine bond between the forces. The 4th Brigade Com­man­der, Brigadier Gen­er­al Mohammed Zafir Khan has expressed his shock and out­rage at the attack and he and his sol­diers are active­ly seek­ing to appre­hend the sus­pect.

That said, I under­stand this inci­dent is obvi­ous­ly going to quite right­ly raise some very seri­ous ques­tions about the secu­ri­ty mea­sures we have in place and I can assure you we’ll be look­ing very close­ly at the out­comes of the inves­ti­ga­tions and any nec­es­sary changes that may be required to enhance the pro­tec­tion of our peo­ple.

In the sec­ond and sep­a­rate inci­dent, which occurred a few hours after the shoot­ing, just after 9pm last night, Aus­tralian East­ern Stan­dard Time, an Aus­tralian Offi­cer was killed when an Aus­tralian Chi­nook heli­copter, which was under­tak­ing a re-sup­ply mis­sion, crashed 90 kilo­me­tres east of Tarin Kot, in Zab­ul Province.

An Amer­i­can Chi­nook was in close prox­im­i­ty and the crew on board wit­nessed the crash. They land­ed and pro­vid­ed imme­di­ate medi­vac assis­tance for the most seri­ous­ly wound­ed sol­dier to the Role II facil­i­ty in Qalat, 70 kilo­me­tres to the south of the crash site. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, despite this imme­di­ate med­ical assis­tance, the Offi­cer could not be saved.

The oth­er five Aus­tralians on board the crashed heli­copter were sub­se­quent­ly evac­u­at­ed to the Role III med­ical facil­i­ty at Kan­da­har and I’m pleased to say are in a sat­is­fac­to­ry con­di­tion.

The Chi­nook heli­copter could not be recov­ered and was destroyed in place.

The fam­i­ly of this sol­dier were noti­fied of his death this morn­ing. I’m not able to release his name at this stage, how­ev­er, I can share that he was 27 years old and a Lieu­tenant in the Army. He was a qual­i­fied pilot who had pro­vid­ed ster­ling ser­vice in Afghanistan since he deployed a short time ago.

He had pre­vi­ous­ly served in East Tim­or and had been part of Oper­a­tion FLOOD ASSIST in Queens­land, com­ing to the assis­tance of his fel­low Aus­tralians who found them­selves in need in Jan­u­ary.

Though this inci­dent has not long hap­pened, already his com­rades are say­ing what a keen, moti­vat­ed and dri­ven young offi­cer he was, com­mit­ted to serv­ing our nation and excelling as a pilot.

To this Officer’s large and close-knit fam­i­ly, I offer my deep­est sym­pa­thy and assure them we will pro­vide we will pro­vide what­ev­er assis­tance we can. I hope they are able to draw some com­fort from the knowl­edge they are in the thoughts and prayers of so many Aus­tralians today that are grate­ful for their loved one’s ser­vice to our nation and the sac­ri­fice he has made on our behalf.

Min­is­ter.

STEPHEN SMITH: Thanks Angus.

Well, this trag­ic news will be a dev­as­tat­ing blow to two Aus­tralian fam­i­lies, but also a dev­as­tat­ing blow to our nation and this sad news will rever­ber­ate through­out Aus­tralia in the course of today. It will rever­ber­ate in that dev­as­tat­ing and trag­ic way, because it fol­lows so soon and so quick­ly after the death of Sergeant Wood and his ramp cer­e­mo­ny yes­ter­day.

It will rever­ber­ate because this is the first time in almost a year where we have had to regret­tably advise Aus­tralia that we’ve had more than one casu­al­ty on the same day.

The Chief of the Defence Force has out­lined in gen­er­al terms the two sep­a­rate instances. We are unable at this stage to iden­ti­fy the two men con­cerned as a result of requests by fam­i­lies for fur­ther time to inform loved ones and I know that peo­ple will respect that pri­va­cy.

Can I, at the out­set, express on behalf of the Gov­ern­ment, on behalf of the Par­lia­ment our con­do­lences to those two fam­i­lies.

Because of the dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances of the first instance, where the death of an Aus­tralian sol­dier has been caused by the actions of an ANA mem­ber, that will also bring with it spe­cial issues and spe­cial cir­cum­stances which will need to be care­ful­ly exam­ined as the Chief of the Defence Force has out­lined.

But, giv­en these two fatal­i­ties fol­low so close­ly on from Sergeant Wood’s death, giv­en the dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances of the first instance, this will be a sig­nif­i­cant and dev­as­tat­ing blow to Aus­tralia, to Aus­tralians and, of course, to our Defence Force per­son­nel.

This brings to 26 the num­ber of fatal­i­ties in Afghanistan since our oper­a­tion in Afghanistan com­menced almost a decade ago. With the injuries, we also see our casu­al­ty list go to over 170.

On a day like today, it’s impor­tant to reflect upon why we are in Afghanistan and the basis on which we are there.

I’ve seen in recent days a sug­ges­tion that the main or the only rea­son we are there is to sup­port our alliance part­ner, the Unit­ed States. We are in Afghanistan for more than that rea­son. We con­tin­ue to very strong­ly believe that it is in Australia’s nation­al inter­est to do our bit to help stare down inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ism and yes, we work very close­ly with our alliance part­ner, the Unit­ed States in that effort. But our mis­sion in Afghanistan con­tin­ues to be, as it has since day one, autho­rised by Unit­ed Nations man­date, which has been renewed suc­ces­sive­ly over a decade.

So, in the face of these dev­as­tat­ing announce­ments today, trag­ic news that will rever­ber­ate through­out the Aus­tralian com­mu­ni­ty, we remain very strong­ly of the view that our resolve in Afghanistan must con­tin­ue. We con­tin­ue to do our work to tran­si­tion secu­ri­ty respon­si­bil­i­ty in Uruz­gan Province and Afghanistan gen­er­al­ly to the Afghan nation­al secu­ri­ty forces.

Angus and I are hap­py to respond to your ques­tions.

JOURNALIST: Mr Smith, could you qual­i­fy the nature of the inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ist threat that we’re star­ing down in Afghanistan, please?

STEPHEN SMITH: In Afghanistan we know that the Afghanistan-Pak­istan bor­der area has for a long peri­od of time been a breed­ing ground for inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ism and very many of the attacks by inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ists, not just on Aus­tralian cit­i­zens, whether that’s in south-east Asia or the Unit­ed States or Europe, can be traced back to this area.

And whilst some may argue that the death of bin Laden sig­nif­i­cant­ly — sig­nif­i­cant­ly denudes al-Qae­da in Afghanistan or Pak­istan, al-Qae­da is not the only ter­ror­ist group in the Afghanistan-Pak­istan bor­der area and all of our analy­sis, all of our view is that we con­tin­ue to need to play a role to pro­tect our nation­al secu­ri­ty inter­ests, to pro­tect our region­al secu­ri­ty inter­ests, to pro­tect the inter­na­tion­al community’s secu­ri­ty inter­ests by play­ing our part as one of 48 nations involved in the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force in Afghanistan autho­rised, as we are, by a Unit­ed Nations man­date.

JOURNALIST: The shoot­ing — I know you said it’s ear­ly days but do you have any under­stand­ing at the moment whether or not it was an actu­al attack or whether it was just the result of some sort of argu­ment in the guard­house or some­thing like that, a per­son­al dis­pute between these two men?

AIR CHIEF MARSHAL HOUSTON: We sim­ply don’t know. That’s why it’s so impor­tant to do the inves­ti­ga­tion. What hap­pened, there were three peo­ple who were man­ning the guard­house: one Aus­tralian, two Afghans, and one of the Afghans depart­ed to attend to a per­son­al mat­ter and it was dur­ing his depar­ture that the inci­dent occurred. Shots rang out and the Afghan who was attend­ing to his per­son­al mat­ter came back and found our mem­ber obvi­ous­ly bad­ly wound­ed and obvi­ous­ly applied first aid and raised the alarm and also fired at the abscond­ing Afghan Nation­al Army mem­ber.

So that’s essen­tial­ly what hap­pened. We need to inves­ti­gate it close­ly and that’s all I’m able to say at this time.

JOURNALIST: Was our sol­dier shot more than once? You men­tioned wounds. Anoth­er ques­tion, the heli­copter, is there any sug­ges­tion that ene­my action might have brought it down? And, sor­ry, one oth­er. The — often the inquiries take some time, are there any imme­di­ate steps being tak­en to pro­tect sol­diers in those for­ward oper­at­ing bases from sim­i­lar inci­dents?

AIR CHIEF MARSHAL HOUSTON: Well, to the first ques­tion, he sus­tained three wounds so that’s — that’s the only — the only thing we’ve got at the moment which might sug­gest three shots but, you know, until we do the inves­ti­ga­tion I wouldn’t — I wouldn’t con­firm that.

In terms of the Chi­nook, the Chi­nook was oper­at­ing in day­light in com­pa­ny with anoth­er heli­copter and at this stage we sim­ply do not know what hap­pened. We’re very eager to know if there was any ene­my action involved or whether there was some oth­er prob­lem with the heli­copter but at this point I stress we do not know and, hope­ful­ly, as time goes on, in the short term, we’ll have some indi­ca­tion where we can give you a lit­tle bit more infor­ma­tion on that, not­ing that we need to inves­ti­gate it in the nor­mal way. We’ll get an acci­dent inves­ti­ga­tion team involved in this. If ene­my was involved, it will prob­a­bly be inves­ti­gat­ed in the first instance by an ISAF team that is in-coun­try.

In terms of if it was some sort of mechan­i­cal prob­lem, or oth­er prob­lem, we’ll send our own team.

Either way we will be involved in both inves­ti­ga­tions.

STEPHEN SMITH: Angus and I thought it very impor­tant, whilst we are the bear­ers of ter­ri­ble news, to bring this news as quick­ly as we could. We could have wait­ed until more was known or until such time as fam­i­ly cir­cum­stances were able to be detailed. We haven’t done that. In the face of such ter­ri­ble news we thought it was impor­tant to bring that to the Aus­tralian peo­ple as quick­ly as we were able to, which is now. That’s the first point.

Sec­ond­ly, we should very care­ful­ly under­stand that the rea­son there are often offi­cial inquiries into the cir­cum­stances lead­ing to the death of an Aus­tralian sol­dier are — are more than one and they are very impor­tant.

First­ly it gives the fam­i­ly the cer­tain­ty of the best effort to analyse what occurred and that is very impor­tant to the fam­i­ly and that’s been the expe­ri­ence in recent times. Sec­ond­ly, it enables us to very care­ful­ly assess whether there are any addi­tion­al force pro­tec­tion mea­sures that we should take or whether there’s a need to change pro­ce­dures or change tech­niques or change approach­es. So I’m not going to be one who will apol­o­gise for the time it takes to do that exhaus­tive and offi­cial inves­ti­ga­tion, in this case in respect of two ter­ri­ble inci­dences.

But as the Chief has said, if and when we are in a posi­tion to pro­vide any fur­ther pre­lim­i­nary infor­ma­tion which might bet­ter explain the cir­cum­stances of these inci­dences, then we will but the offi­cial inves­ti­ga­tions will take place in the usu­al way, putting us in the best posi­tion to learn any lessons from them but also to give the fam­i­lies of the Aus­tralian sol­diers con­cerned the best analy­sis we can as to the cause of the death of their loved ones.

JOURNALIST: I wasn’t sug­gest­ing that the inquiry should be rushed, I was just won­der­ing whether there was any steps that need­ed to be put in place-

STEPHEN SMITH: No, I wasn’t reflect­ing in any way on your ques­tion, Bren­dan, nor on you, which I wouldn’t do.

AIR CHIEF MARSHAL HOUSTON: There have been — can I just respond to the third part of Brendan’s ques­tion. Essen­tial­ly all sol­diers that are recruit­ed into the ANA are bio­met­ri­cal­ly enrolled and they are all vet­ted by NATO Train­ing Mis­sion Afghanistan.

We obvi­ous­ly work very close­ly with them, we observe them, and we’re always on the look­out for any­body who behaves in a strange way. So, I guess they are the sorts of pro­tec­tions that we have in place and obvi­ous­ly we will have anoth­er look at those sorts of things as we — as we con­duct this inves­ti­ga­tion.

JOURNALIST: Can you com­plete­ly rule out it was an acci­dent? Is there any chance that maybe it wasn’t delib­er­ate?

AIR CHIEF MARSHAL HOUSTON: We need to — again, we need to have a look at this but the fact that mul­ti­ple shots were fired sug­gests that, you know, it was — it was more — more than that.

JOURNALIST: Do you know if any shots were fired from the Aus­tralian victim’s weapon?

AIR CHIEF MARSHAL HOUSTON: Not as far as I know but, again, all this will be sub­ject to inves­ti­ga­tion.

JOURNALIST: MASHAL is a small base, are there ten­sions now between the Aus­tralian troops and the ANA?

AIR CHIEF MARSHAL HOUSTON: No, not as far as I know. It was the Afghan Nation­al Army that mount­ed the secu­ri­ty patrol imme­di­ate­ly after the inci­dent and obvi­ous­ly it was an Afghan sol­dier that fired at the indi­vid­ual as he abscond­ed so I think all of that is going to assist in main­tain­ing the rela­tion­ship at the patrol base.

JOURNALIST: You men­tioned that you couldn’t iden­ti­fy the sol­dier but can you give us some indi­ca­tion of where they might be from in Aus­tralia and their fam­i­lies [indis­tinct].

AIR CHIEF MARSHAL HOUSTON: Look, I think at this stage, as the Min­is­ter said, this is very ear­ly on in the process. All I will say is that one indi­vid­ual, the sol­dier that was shot, was based in Queens­land. The mem­ber who was aboard the Chi­nook basi­cal­ly I believe was a Vic­to­ri­an but I’ll leave it at that.

JOURNALIST: Do we know any oth­er details of the ser­vice record of this ANA sol­dier, how long he’d been qual­i­fied for, what his rank was at all?

AIR CHIEF MARSHAL HOUSTON: Yes, there is — we know, in fact this morn­ing I saw a nar­ra­tive on the indi­vid­ual. We have his name, we have his ser­vice num­ber and we have a record of his ser­vice. So this was not an imposter. This was some­body who’d been in the ANA for a while and I would char­ac­terise him as — as a rogue sol­dier — which is what oth­er coali­tion mem­bers have described peo­ple who take these sorts of actions as.

JOURNALIST: There have been a few oth­er inci­dents of rogue sol­diers, not attack­ing Aus­tralians but par­tic­u­lar­ly Amer­i­cans. What have they done to ease con­cerns about this and will you be tak­ing any guid­ance from what the Amer­i­cans have done pre­vi­ous­ly?

AIR CHIEF MARSHAL HOUSTON: Well, the first pro­tec­tion is the way peo­ple are enrolled into the ANA. I think Gen­er­al Caldwell’s bio­met­ric enrol­ment, the vet­ting is an impor­tant part of that. We’ll clear­ly have a look at how the Amer­i­cans have respond­ed to sim­i­lar inci­dents that they’ve expe­ri­enced but let me stress, we’ve been in Afghanistan now for — on this par­tic­u­lar mis­sion for six years. We’ve worked with thou­sands and thou­sands of Afghans through those six years, right from the out­set, and this is the first inci­dent that we’ve had of this nature.

JOURNALIST: Did the record say where he was from, else­where in Afghanistan or was he local?

AIR CHIEF MARSHAL HOUSTON: I must say, I didn’t focus on those sorts of detail and I’m not — I can’t respond to that at the moment.

JOURNALIST: The man who died in the Chi­nook, was he fly­ing the Chi­nook at the time?

AIR CHIEF MARSHAL HOUSTON: No, he was not.

JOURNALIST: Was he the co-pilot or-

AIR CHIEF MARSHAL HOUSTON: He was a pas­sen­ger. He was an avi­a­tor but he was not a mem­ber of the Chi­nook crew.

JOURNALIST: Where was the Chi­nook going to and from?

AIR CHIEF MARSHAL HOUSTON: It was on a resup­ply mis­sion into the province of Zab­ul. I imag­ine the mis­sion orig­i­nat­ed out of Kan­da­har.

Thank you very much.

Per­son­al details of Aus­tralian Sol­dier killed in Afghanistan Lieu­tenant Mar­cus Sean Case

It is with deep regret the Aus­tralian Defence Force announces the death of Lieu­tenant Mar­cus Sean Case dur­ing oper­a­tions in Afghanistan on 30 May 2011.

Lieu­tenant Case was deployed to Afghanistan as a Heron Unmanned Aer­i­al Vehi­cle Oper­a­tor. This was his first deploy­ment to Afghanistan.

Twen­ty-sev­en year old Lieu­tenant Case was from Syd­ney-based 6th Avi­a­tion Reg­i­ment.

Lieu­tenant Case leaves behind his par­ents and five sib­lings. He was the youngest of six chil­dren. His fam­i­ly is receiv­ing sup­port from Defence.

Lieu­tenant Case was born in Mel­bourne, Vic­to­ria in 1984. He enlist­ed in the Active Army Reserves on 25 June 2002 and was post­ed to 5th/6th Roy­al Vic­to­ri­an Reg­i­ment.

In 2003, he com­menced the Com­man­do selec­tion and train­ing process with the 1st Com­man­do Reg­i­ment (1Cdo Regt). He was post­ed to 1Cdo Regt, which includ­ed an oper­a­tional tour to East Tim­or in 2007.

On 19 March 2008, Lieu­tenant Case trans­ferred to the Aus­tralian Reg­u­lar Army, under­tak­ing pilot train­ing at the Army Avi­a­tion Train­ing Cen­tre, Oakey. On 10 Decem­ber 2009, he was post­ed to the 6th Avi­a­tion Reg­i­ment, Syd­ney.

Lieu­tenant Case’s first deploy­ment was in July 2005, when he deployed as an infantry­man to Malaysia with Rifle Com­pa­ny But­ter­worth. In Jan­u­ary 2011, he was part of the Avi­a­tion Bat­tle Group deployed to Queens­land to pro­vide assis­tance as part of the Aus­tralian Defence Force flood relief Oper­a­tion.

Lieu­tenant Case was keen and moti­vat­ed, and was excelling as a pilot. Lieu­tenant Case lived life to the fullest, tak­ing every oppor­tu­ni­ty that was giv­en to him and mak­ing the most of it. He was always the go-to-man who was able to get the job done.

Lieu­tenant Case has been award­ed the Aus­tralian Ser­vice Medal with Clasp Tim­or-Leste and the Aus­tralian Defence Medal. Lieu­tenant Case will be pre­sent­ed with the Aus­tralian Active Ser­vice Medal with ICAT Clasp, the Afghanistan Cam­paign Medal and the NATO ISAF Medal.

Dur­ing Lieu­tenant Case’s ser­vice in the Aus­tralian Army, he deployed on the fol­low­ing Oper­a­tions:

OPERATION ASTUTE (East Tim­or) (Jun 2007– Sep 2007)
OPERATION Queens­land FLOOD ASSIST (Queens­land) – Jan 2011
OPERATION SLIPPER (Afghanistan) — May 2011

Per­son­al details of Aus­tralian Sol­dier killed in Afghanistan Lance Cor­po­ral Andrew Gor­don Jones

It is with deep regret the Aus­tralian Defence Force announces the death of Lance Cor­po­ral Andrew Gor­don Jones dur­ing oper­a­tions in Afghanistan on 30 May 2011.

Twen­ty five year old Lance Cor­po­ral Jones was from the 9th Force Sup­port Bat­tal­ion in Amber­ley. Lance Cor­po­ral Jones was serv­ing with the Force Sup­port Unit. This was his first deploy­ment to Afghanistan.

Lance Cor­po­ral Jones leaves behind his lov­ing par­ents, two younger sib­lings and girl­friend, who are receiv­ing sup­port from Defence.

Lance Cor­po­ral Jones was born in Mel­bourne, Vic­to­ria in 1986. He joined the Army in 2004. After recruit train­ing, he com­plet­ed his ini­tial employ­ment train­ing as a cook and was post­ed to the Cater­ing Pla­toon of the 1st Bat­tal­ion, The Roy­al Aus­tralian Reg­i­ment. He was post­ed to the 9th Force Sup­port Bat­tal­ion in 2008.

Lance Cor­po­ral Jones’ first oper­a­tional deploy­ment was to East Tim­or in 2008. His sec­ond, to Afghanistan, com­menced in Novem­ber 2010.

Lance Cor­po­ral Jones was a loy­al, reli­able and trust­wor­thy sol­dier who was ded­i­cat­ed to serv­ing his coun­try. He was a team play­er who loved his job. He had a qui­et per­son­al­i­ty but enjoyed a joke with his mates.

He was a skilled cook who was the first to vol­un­teer to go on the road or on exer­cise. In 2010, he was pro­mot­ed to Lance Cor­po­ral upon com­plet­ing his Junior Leader Course. He dis­played def­i­nite lead­er­ship poten­tial.

His inter­ests includ­ed chess, read­ing, com­put­ers, draw­ing and soc­cer.

Lance Cor­po­ral Jones was award­ed the Aus­tralian Ser­vice Medal with clasp Timor–Leste, and Aus­tralian Defence Medal. Lance Cor­po­ral Jones will be pre­sent­ed with the Aus­tralian Active Ser­vice Medal with ICAT Clasp, the Afghanistan Cam­paign Medal and the NATO ISAF Medal.

Dur­ing Lance Cor­po­ral Jones ser­vice in the Aus­tralian Army, he deployed on the fol­low­ing Oper­a­tions:
OPERATION ASTUTE (East Tim­or) – Jul 2000 – Oct 2000.
OPERATION SLIPPER (Afghanistan) – Nov 2010 – May 2011.

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

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter