Inquiry Officer's report into the combat death of Trooper Jason Brown
7 February 2011
The Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant General David Hurley AC DSC, today released the Inquiry Officer’s report into the death of Trooper Jason Brown who was killed on operational service in Afghanistan on 13 August 2010.
Trooper Brown was part of the Special Operations Task Group which was conducting a disruption operation in a village in the Northern Kandahar region with members of the Afghan Provincial Response Company and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
The Patrol had cleared the area alongside a river, seeking a crossing point as they moved towards the planned extraction zone.
The Patrol had just passed a particularly dense thicket of vegetation along the river bank when they came under heavy fire from a belt fed weapon approximately 5-10 metres away.
Trooper Brown was hit by numerous rounds in the first seconds of the battle.
Trooper Brown's patrol mates provided trauma aid, and resuscitation until the aero medical helicopter arrived.
"Despite his mates' best efforts and a rapid aero medical evacuation, Trooper Brown was declared dead on arrival at Khandahar Airfield" said Lieutenant General Hurley.
"The Inquiry Officer found Trooper Brown was killed by multiple gunshot wounds as a direct result of insurgent action."
The Inquiry Officer found no evidence of any person failing in the performance of his or her duties. His report states that the mission was well planned and well executed.
"The Patrol Commander quickly took control of the contact and reacted as he was trained while the Troop Commander maintained solid command and control throughout the incident.
As a result, the contact, aero medical evacuation and repositioning were conducted in an extremely professional manner under difficult combat conditions.
"I commend the members of this patrol for their actions under insurgent fire. These soldiers showed true courage to pull together and perform to the level they did in a dangerous situation" said Lieutenant General Hurley.
The Inquiry Officer recommended that the circumstances associated with Trooper Brown's death do not warrant the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry.
The Minister for Defence and the Chief of the Defence Force have accepted this recommendation.
A transcript of Lieutenant General Hurley's speech will be available at: http://www.defence.gov.au/media/index.cfm.
An unclassified version of the Inquiry Officer report is available at: http://www.defence.gov.au/coi/index.htm