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Soldier’s Death in Afghanistan

  • June 23rd, 2013
  • Posted by EU Australia

Yungaburra ceremonyA team commander with the Australian commandos in Afghanistan – Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird– has been killed in fighting in the South of the country; with two others wounded.

 The action coincided with a service in Australia to open a memorial to soldiers lost in the Afghan conflict.  

 

VETERAN SOLDIER

 

Corporal Baird was a decorated veteran of five tours in the country, as well as tours in Iraq and Timor Leste.

 One other was seriously hurt, receiving surgery at military hospitals in Afghanistan; the third man, from the Air Force, had minor injuries.     

 The following statement was issued in Canberra: 

 One Australian Special Forces soldier has been killed and two other members of the ADF have been wounded during an insurgent engagement.

 The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley said the engagement occurred on Saturday 22 June 2013 – the Special Forces soldier was killed in action by small arms fire, a second Special Forces soldier was seriously wounded and a Royal Australian Air Force airman was wounded.

 Members of the patrol provided immediate first aid to the casualties who were aero-medically evacuated to the Role 2 Medical Facility at Multi-National Base Tarin Kot. Sadly despite their efforts, they could not save one of their mates.

 General Hurley extended his deepest sympathy to the soldier’s family.

 “We share their loss and we feel their pain, and we will support them through the difficult days ahead. My thoughts and prayers are also with our wounded personnel and their families. I wish them a speedy recovery,” General Hurley said.

 The fallen soldier is from the Sydney based 2nd Commando Regiment.

 “His mates describe him as one of the most iconic figures in the Regiment.

 “He was on his fifth tour of Afghanistan having previously served in Iraq and Timor-Leste. In combat, and as a Team Commander, he was the man to watch and never happier than when the situation demanded decisive action and courage,” General Hurley said.

 The members of the Australian Special Operations Task Group and the Afghan Provincial Response Company were conducting a partnered operation to disrupt an insurgent network operating in the Khod Valley in southern Afghanistan. This network is known to have direct influences on insurgent activity in Uruzgan province.


NEW AFGHANISTAN MEMORIAL

 Yungaburra Tinaroo 2013The death of Corporal Baird occurred on the day that a new Australian war memorial, paying  special tribute to those killed in Afghanistan, was ceremonially established in North Queensland.

It is an avenue of honour, with a sculptured centre-piece, incorporating stone brought from Afghanistan, at Lake Tinaroo, (see pictures; national dignitaries at ceremony; Lake Tinaroo).

The site is close to the resort town of Yungaburra, home of Private Benjamin Chuck, killed in Afghanistan in 2010; and the memorial began with local public subscriptions.

Recognised nationally as the first to be dedicated to the Afghanistan commitment, it has 39 plaques, the number lost up to this weekend – the death toll now 40.

Australian troops have been serving in Afghanistan under the NATO command structure, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which last week setpped back from operational command roles, handing over control to the Afghanistan security forces. The Australian contingent, 1500 strong, is due to leave the country by the end of this year, leaving only some small detachments and commandoes. The other allied partners have signalled the departure of their own forces by the end of 2014, with commitments to provide ongoign support with training and materiel.

Reference

Australian Defence Department, Canberra, One soldier killed, two wounded in Afghanistan, (23.6.13. http://www.defence.gov.au/defencenews/stories/2013/jun/0623.htm, (23.6.13).

Tropical Tablelands Tourism, Atherton. Avenue of Honour … .http://www.athertontablelands.com.au/avenue-of-honour/, (23.6.13).


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