The Special Operations Task Group farewells SGT Diddams from Tarin Kot
5 July 2012
The members of the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) farewelled Sergeant Blaine Diddams in a moving Memorial Service at Camp Russell today.
Sergeant Diddams was shot during an engagement with insurgents on Tuesday, while on a mission targeting an insurgent commander who was known to be in the Chorah region at the time.
SOTG Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel J, paid tribute to a well-respected and highly experienced Special Forces soldier during the service in Tarin Kot, Afghanistan.
“Today we farewelled a husband and father, a mate and brother who will be forever missed but never forgotten,” Lieutenant Colonel J said.
“He died doing what he loved in the only way he knew how - to lead his men from the front. Blaine was the relaxed professional whose quick wit and sense of humour could turn a smile in even the worst of situations.
“Blaine endeared himself to everyone who knew him due to his quirky sense of humour and love of a joke.
“He was a devoted father and husband who lived life to the fullest. He thrived on adventure and time with his mates and he was the type of person that if you were in trouble or on a winning streak, you wanted to share the experience with,” he said.
The Memorial Service was held in Camp Russell at Multi-National Base – Tarin Kot, before his casket was moved to a waiting Australian C-130 Hercules aircraft.
Soldiers from SOTG along with Australian, Afghan and coalition forces personnel lined the route to salute as the casket carrying their comrade passed to begin his journey home to Australia.
The Commander of Australian Defence Forces in the Middle East, Major General Stuart Smith, said the loss of Sergeant Diddams was deeply felt by all ranks.
“Sergeant Diddams was an elite soldier, working with a professional team, on a vital mission to support security and safety for the people of Uruzgan,” Major General Smith said.
“As a military family we mourn his loss, but we put aside our grief to continue on important work in Afghanistan as our tribute to his dedication and sacrifice.”
Imagery of the Ramp Ceremony can be found below:
Vision of the Ceremony will be fed to Parliament House tomorrow morning.
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