Fallen Engineer returns home to his family
13 June 2011
Sapper Rowan Robinson, the Incident Response Regiment Combat Engineer who was killed in Afghanistan last week, has arrived at RAAF Base Amberley to his waiting family.
The Royal Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft was met by Incident Response Regiment soldiers who formed an honour guard and bearer party to escort Sapper Robinson’s casket to his family.
The Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston; the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie and Special Operations Commander Australia, Major General Gus Gilmore and the Commanding Officer of the Incident Response Regiment (IRR) attended the Ramp Ceremony.
Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie, spoke of Rowan’s Combat Engineer role within the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG).
“Every time he was outside the wire, he was alongside his SOTG colleagues. As a Sapper, he led from the front, looking for threats and disabling those devices to keep his mates safe,” Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie said.
“Our thoughts remain with his family at this very difficult time as they prepare to receive and farewell their beloved son and brother.”
Special Operations Commander, Major General Gus Gilmore, described the highly specialised work of the Regiment and the loss felt by the entire Command.
“The work of the IRR is at the top end of their game. It is hugely important and dangerous work that contributes enormously to the protection of our troops in Afghanistan,” said Major General Gilmore.
“Sapper Robinson loved this work and was held in high esteem by all who worked with him in Special Operations Command. He was highly regarded for the way he approached each mission with courage and conviction. His death is felt by the entire command.”
The 23-year-old Combat Engineer was killed during a small-arms engagement with insurgents in southern Afghanistan on 6 June 2011. He was part of an Afghan National Police and Special Operations Task Group patrol when they uncovered one of the largest insurgent caches found by Australian Special Forces this year.
The Incident Response Regiment is made up of highly trained combat engineers who employ their unique skills in direct support of Commandos and Special Air Service Regiment to assist in enabling operations in Australia and overseas.
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