Details of mission in which Special Forces engineer was killed
26 October 2012
Members of the Special Operations Task Group and their Afghan partners have returned to their Uruzgan base without further casualties following the mission during which Special Operations Engineer Corporal Scott Smith was killed.
Corporal Scott James Smith, from the Special Operations Engineer Regiment based at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney, was killed on Sunday, 21 October 2012, when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated during a mission in northern Helmand province.
The mission was part of a significant operation against an insurgent network specialising in IED attacks, funded by narcotics sales. The network directly influences insurgent activity and security in Uruzgan.
Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Ash Power said Corporal Smith was part of a small team tasked with clearing a suspected insurgent compound when the incident occurred.
“On entering buildings within the compound, the team identified several rooms stacked with functional improvised explosive devices and associated components,” Lieutenant General Power said.
“The compound was quickly assessed to be an IED factory and the commander on the ground made the decision to extract his personnel due to the high risk the area posed.
“During the withdrawal from the compound, an improvised explosive device detonated killing Corporal Smith instantly.”
Lieutenant General Power said the buildings within the compound were subsequently destroyed by precision ground fire from supporting ISAF units..
“As a result, more than 100 improvised explosive devices and other component parts were destroyed and an insurgent network significantly impacted by the loss of equipment, money and personnel.”
“This is a very bittersweet result for us – we have lost a highly respected member of the Special Forces community but have also dealt a significant blow to one of the most resilient insurgent networks in the region.”
“Corporal Smith was a highly trained, experienced, Special Forces engineer - his work had made the way safe for his comrades.”
Corporal Smith will be farewelled by his Special Forces brothers from Camp Russell in the coming days, along with the men and women at Multi National Base Tarin Kot.
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999