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- Jan 13, 2007
Department of Defence Media Mail List
CPA 090/07 Monday, 9 April 2007
THREE SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND SOLDIERS KILLED IN VICTORIAN MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
At about 1.00 am this morning, three Australian Special Forces soldiers were tragically killed when their car left the road and entered the water in Victoria.
The three soldiers were in Victoria conducting training at the Defence facility on Swan Island.
The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, said the loss of three highly experienced soldiers will be felt across the ADF.
“Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families, friends and colleagues of these three outstanding Australians at this difficult time,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.
Special Operations Commander – Australia, Major-General Mike Hindmarsh, said the deaths were a tragic blow to the Australian Special Forces community.
“The loss of any young life in circumstances such as these seems such a horrible waste — these were fine young Australians who had served their nation with great distinction and my heart goes out to their families,” Major-General Hindmarsh said.
“What is equally tragic is that all three of these soldiers survived some of the toughest combat the ADF has seen since Vietnam, yet they died tragically in a motor vehicle accident.”
Major-General Hindmarsh said the ADF was currently providing close support to the next of kin of the soldiers involved. The families have asked that their privacy be respected during this difficult time.
All three soldiers were respected members of Special Operations Command-Australia who had a wealth of operational experience and highly developed specialised skills. The soldiers were not undertaking training at the time of the accident.
The soldiers killed in the accident were:
Sergeant Craig Linacre, age 32. Sergeant Linacre joined the Army in 1994 and has served in Special Operations Command for the past 11 years. Sergeant Linacre had deployed on operational service to East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. Sergeant Linacre was awarded the Commendation for Gallantry for his service in Afghanistan.
Corporal Michael McAvoy, age 34. Corporal McAvoy joined the Army in 1992 and has served in Special Operations Command for the past six years. Corporal McAvoy had deployed on operational service to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The name and operational service record of the third soldier killed in the accident will not be released at this time, as all members of his family are yet to be informed. When this notification process is complete the ADF will provide further detail in accordance with the family’s wishes.