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19 Mar 09 - Another Aussie KIA in AFG


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Aother KIA.

Shared IAW the usual....

Another Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan


March 20, 2009 12:10am
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+ - Print Email Share Add to MySpace Add to Digg Add to del.icio.us Add to Fark Post to Facebook Add to Kwoff What are these?  10th fatality ... Air Chief Marshal Houston acknowledged it had been a difficult week for the military / Gary Ramage
Soldier dies trying to defuse explosive device
Second fatality in a week, 10th in total
"Devastated another soldier killed so soon"
Barack Obama: 'Double US force'
ANOTHER Australian soldier has died in Afghanistan - the second this week - as he tried to protect his mates from a roadside bomb.

As the body of Corporal Mathew Hopkins was being flown home, Australian Defence Force Chief Angus Houston last night revealed an unnamed Digger had became the 10th Australian to die in Afghanistan since 2002.

Air Chief Marshal Houston offered his thoughts and prayers to the soldier's family, but said he was aware his words would do little to ease their pain.

"I want them to be aware from the outset that their loved one died protecting his mates and was willing to sacrifice himself in order to safeguard others," he said.

"I can think of no more admirable action nor one more more worthy of our gratitude and respect than that of this fine soldier today."

The latest fatality follows the death on Monday of 21-year-old Corporal Hopkins, killed during an intense firefight with Taliban insurgents.

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Readers' Comments: Digger dies defusing bomb - PerthNow
Perth Now, Your Say
From an old digger to all the dig's overseas, keep your heads up. I know where you want and need to be. To the detractors, I say this, 'The only people who deserve peace, ar...

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Alan barrie of Jordan
Highly skilled

Air Chief Marshal Houston praised the latest soldier killed as a skilled professional who had died trying to protect his mates from a dangerous improvised explosive device.

"(As) an Australian soldier took action to render the device safe, as he was carrying out this task, there was an explosion and he was killed," Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

"The soldier was highly skilled and very courageous.

"He was an expert in countering IEDs and he lost his life trying to make the environment safe for his mates and local Afghans by neutralising the threat the device posed."

Difficult times

Air Chief Marshal Houston acknowledged it had been a difficult week for the military, with the latest incident coming so close after the death of Corporal Hopkins.

"Clearly this week has been especially difficult and we are devastated that another soldier has been killed so soon after the death of Corporal Mathew Hopkins," he said.

"The situation in Afghanistan remains very dangerous but the importance of our mission should not be overlooked.

"These IEDs are indicative of the ruthlessness of the enemies we seek to defeat."

The exact location of the incident remains unclear.

Air Chief Marshal Houston said he was mindful of the need to protect security of operations currently being undertaken.

"We're involved in a large operation, a wider operation, we're playing a part in it, and I'm not prepared to indicate where we might be at this time," he said.

Mixed opinions

Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon admitted that it was getting harder to keep the public on board regarding the war.

"It is true the longer we are in Afghanistan the more difficult it will be to maintain the support of the Australian people for that campaign," Mr Fitzgibbon said.

"That is why I've been arguing so strongly in NATO forums and in other forums for better progress and a better plan."

The Defence Minister said there was currently a "strategic stalemate" in Afghanistan.

Pressure for more troops

The latest death comes as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd gets ready to head to the United States and Britain, where he will meet US President Barack Obama in Washington and at the G20 meeting in London.

The Government has repeatedly indicated it is expecting a request from the US to boost its troop numbers in Afghanistan, where 1100 diggers are currently stationed.

While it has not given any indication how it might respond, Labor has always suggested that the war in Afghanistan is at the heart of where Australia needs to be fighting the battle against terrorism.

In Parliament yesterday, Mr Rudd said the nation must never forget the malignant heart of terrorism was alive and well in Afghanistan.




The Bread Guy

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Photos, links to family statements below


"Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) in Afghanistan.

Sergeant Brett Till, a highly-respected Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician from the Incident Response Regiment in Holsworthy, New South Wales, was killed by an explosion that occurred during a route clearance task in Southern Afghanistan on Thursday, 19 March 2009.

Sergeant Till, age 31, lived in Sydney with his wife and two children. His immediate family is currently receiving support from Defence representatives.

Sergeant Till enlisted in the Australian Army in 2001 and was allocated to the Corps of Royal Australian Engineers following recruit training. Sergeant Till trained as a Combat Engineer and served with a number of units, including the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment and the School of Military Engineering ...."



Links to more personal photos here and to ramp ceremony here.

Statements from wife, mother & stepfather, , and in-laws.


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RIP sapper!  :salute:  Thoughts and prayers to Sgt Till's family, friends and comrades.