Personal details of Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan - Sergeant Brett Wood
24 May 2011
It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Sergeant Brett Wood during operations in Afghanistan.
Sergeant Wood was serving with the Special Operations Task Group when he was tragically killed in action as a result of the explosion of an Improvised Explosive Device on Monday 23 May 2011 (Afghanistan time).
Thirty-two year old Sergeant Wood was from the Sydney based 2nd Commando Regiment.
Sergeant Brett Wood leaves behind his loving wife and family, who are currently receiving support from Defence.
Sergeant Brett Wood was born in Ferntree Gully, Victoria in 1978. He joined the Army in 1996 and after recruit training joined 6th Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment. Sergeant Wood successfully undertook Commando Selection and Training and joined the then 4th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (2 Commando) in November 1998.
Sergeant Wood has significant operational experience. His first deployment was to Bougainville in 2000. In 2001 he deployed to East Timor on Operation Tanager and in 2003 to Iraq on Operation Falconer. In 2006 Sergeant Wood deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Slipper. He was awarded The Medal for Gallantry for leadership in action as a Team Commander during this tour.
Sergeant Wood received a Special Operations Commander – Australia, Commendation for service with the Tactical Assault Group – East in 2007 and in 2009 he returned to Afghanistan as a Section Commander.
Sergeant Wood deployed to Afghanistan, for the third time, in March this year.
Sergeant Brett Wood was awarded the Medal for Gallantry, the Australian Active Service Medal with clasps: East Timor, International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT) and Iraq 2003, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Australian Service Medal with claspBougainville, the Australian Defence Medal, United Nations East Timor Medal, NATO ISAF Medal, Special Operations Command Australia Commendation and Unit Citation for Gallantry. He has also been awarded the Infantry Combat Badge.
During Sergeant Brett Wood’s service in the Australian Army, he deployed on the following Operations:
a. OPERATION BEL ISI II (Bougainville)– Mar 2000 – Aug 2000
b. OPERATION TANAGER (East Timor) – Apr 2001 – Aug 2001
c. OPERATION FALCONER (Iraq) – Feb 2003 – May 2003
d. OPERATION SLIPPER (Afghanistan) –Apr 2006 – Sep 2006
f. OPERATION SLIPPER (Afghanistan) –Jul 2009 – Nov 2009
g. OPERATION SLIPPER (Afghanistan) –Mar 2011 – May 2011
Media note: Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5003&search=20112832
TO BE AWARDED THE MEDAL FOR GALLANTRY
8251361 CORPORAL BRETT MATHEW WOOD
For gallantry and leadership in action as a Commando Team Commander, of the Special Operations Task Group – Task Force 637, whilst deployed on Operation SLIPPER Rotation Three Afghanistan, May – September 2006.
Corporal Brett Mathew Wood enlisted in the Australian Regular Army on the 13th of February 1996 and was allocated to the 6th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment. He later successfully completed Commando training and was posted to the 4th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (Commando) in 1998. Corporal Wood’s operational experience includes deployments on Operations BEL ISI, TANAGER, FALCONER and SLIPPER.
On the 17th of July 2006 during Operation PERTH, the Commando Platoon was tasked to conduct the clearance of an Anti Coalition Militia sanctuary in the Chora Valley, Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan. The Platoon was partnered in support of an Infantry Company of the United States Army 10thMountain Division. At approximately 1 pm the Infantry Company came under heavy rocket propelled grenade and small arms fire on multiple flanks resulting in six wounded and one soldier killed in action, effectively halting their advance. Through thick vegetation, facing large numbers of dispersed Anti Coalition Militia and under heavy fire, the Commando Platoon commenced maneuvering to provide assistance to the element which was pinned down. During this move the Commando Platoon received a volley of four rockets which impacted in the centre of the platoon’s position resulting in six Australian soldiers wounded in action, a loss to the platoon by one third of its force. Unknown to the Commander at the time, Corporal Wood had also been wounded in the foot by fragmentation from the rocket propelled grenade barrage.
In order to regain the initiative, Corporal Wood’s team was tasked by the Commando Platoon Commander to assault forward and clear a group of compounds from which they were receiving Anti Coalition Militia fire. Under these daunting conditions Corporal Wood commenced this task without hesitation, completing a rapid and aggressive clearance of numerous threat compounds. Once achieved, both the United States and Australian elements were free to continue with the battle providing the necessary time to effect the back loading of the wounded by helicopter to the Forward Operating Base.
Throughout the afternoon, numerous and relentless probing attacks by a determined opponent followed. Corporal Wood displayed extraordinary leadership and courage, inspiring his team and the remainder of the Commando platoon to repel the continued attacks. He then successfully led a marksmanship team to infiltrate the Anti Coalition Militia held territory killing seven Anti Coalition Militia. Only after the engagement had been completed and the threat to the platoon subsided did Corporal Wood inform his Commander of the fragmentation wound that he had sustained during the original contact earlier that day. Corporal Wood was then evacuated to the Casualty Collection Point where he was provided with medical treatment and later extracted.
Corporal Wood’s actions on the 17thof July 2006, as a Commando Team Commander during Operation PERTH, were testament to his leadership, fortitude and sense of duty to his team and the platoon. His determination to continue to lead his team during the battle in extremely hazardous circumstances despite being wounded ensured that the Commando Platoon regained the initiative and contributed significantly to a decisive victory. His gallantry and leadership in the face of the enemy has been of the highest order and in keeping with the finest traditions of Special Operations Command Australia, the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.