Commando Killed in Afghanistan

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Kevin Rudd praises bravery of dead soldier in Afghanistan

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Phillip Hudson
November 28, 2008


A SYDNEY-based Commando was killed today in Afghanistan in a roadside bomb blast and two other Australian soldiers wounded.

The unnamed soldier is the seventh Australian to die in Afghanistan since 2002.

The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, tonight said the death of the "young man'' was a tragic reminder of the terrible risk taken by soldiers upholding the best tradition of the Anzacs.

The Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant General David Hurley, said the soldier died in an explosion caused by the detonation of an improvised explosive device.

The soldier was a member of the Sydney-based 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Commando), and was conducting a dismount patrol when he and his team were attacked.

Lieutenant General Hurley refused to release any other details, saying it was an ongoing offensive operation and he did not want to put other soldiers at risk.

He said the soldier's family had been informed.

Lieutenant General Hurley said the two injured soldiers were "slightly wounded'' and had returned to duty after receiving medical treatment.

Australian special forces were patrolling the in the Oruzgan Province where Australia has 330 special operations task group personnel. They include commandos, SAS and other staff. They provide security for the international reconstruction taskforce.

Lieutenant General Hurley said the Taliban insurgents "continued to prefer the indiscriminate use of IEDs over close-battle with Australian'' and other troops.

Mr Rudd said he was deeply saddened and asked all Australians to remember the families of the soldiers in their thoughts and prayers. "Our deepest sympathies are with this young man's family, his friends, his colleagues.''

"Seven brave Australian soldiers have now been killed in Afghanistan fighting Taliban resurgents,'' Mr Rudd said. "Our troops in Afghanistan are engaged in dangerous work, they're engaged in important work. They perform their role with distinction and dedication, bravery and professionalism. They perform their work in the best traditions of Anzac.''

Mr Rudd said there was no plan to change Australian troop numbers in Afghanistan.

"We believe that our current troop numbers in Afghanistan are about right.

We have no plans to increase the deployment,'' he said.

The Opposition Leader, Malcolm Turnbull, said Australia mourned a brave soldier who gave his all in the war against terrorism.

"He was there defending Australia's values, wearing our uniform, serving under our flag. This is a tragic reminder of the enormous danger our forces face in Afghanistan every day,'' he said.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/pm-praises-dead-soldiers-bravery/2008/11/27/1227491724576.html
 
8

8'Duece

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Rest easy Commando. We've got the watch now.

Thank you for your dedicated service and your sacrifice.
 

digrar

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First pic: Digger killed in Afghanistan


Article from:
November 28, 2008 04:00pm

DEFENCE has named Lieutenant Michael Fussell as the latest Australian soldier to die in Afghanistan.
Lt Fussell was killed by an improvised explosive device detonation in Afghanistan on Thursday.
The 25-year-old was a member of the Sydney-based 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and was conducting a dismounted patrol when he and his team were struck by the device.
Lt Fussell was not married and had no children.
His immediate family was receiving support from army representatives, defence said.
Two other Special Operations Task Group personnel were slightly wounded in the explosion and have now returned to operational duties.
Defence would not release the names of the wounded personnel.
Army chief Lieutenant-General Ken Gillespie said Lt Fussell's sacrifice would never be forgotten.
"Our hearts go out to Michael's family during this very sad time,'' he said.
"I hope the knowledge that they are in the thoughts and prayers of so many Australians will be a source of comfort for them.''

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LT Michael Kenneth Housdan Fussell
Age - 25
Born - 17 November 1983, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Lieutenant Fussell enlisted in the Australian Army January 2002 and was appointed as an Officer Cadet at the Australian Defence Force Academy. He completed a Bachelor of Arts and was a keen sportsman, with a strong interest in rugby.
He attended Royal Military College, Duntroon in 2005, commissioning in December 2005 into the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery. On graduation he was posted to ‘A’ Field Battery, 4th Field Regiment, where he fulfilled a number of junior officer roles.
During his time at ‘A’ Field Battery he qualified as a para-trooper. He also deployed to East Timor on Operation ASTUTE in 2006 and 2007.
Lieutenant Fussell was posted to 4 RAR (Commando) in January 2008 as a Joint Offensive Support Team Commander. He was a Platoon Commander for the Advance Infantry Course at Singleton and completed the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) course.
Lieutenant Fussell’s military decorations include the Australian Active Service Medal with clasp International Campaign Against Terrorism (ICAT), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Australian Service Medal clasp, Timor-Leste and the Australian Defence Medal.
Michael leaves behind two loving parents, his younger brother Daniel and two younger foster sisters Nikki and Nyah. His brother Daniel is a Lieutenant with 1st Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery (RAA) in Brisbane.

I imagine he's our first Officer KIA in 36 years. RIP mate.
 
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