Chief of the Defence Force General David Hurley - Press Conference - Death of an Australian soldier in Afghanistan
22 October 2012
GEN DAVID HURLEY: Good morning ladies and gentlemen.
Sadly, I'm here this morning to advise you that an Australian soldier serving with the Special Operations Task Group was killed during a partnered mission in southern Afghanistan overnight.
The task group was conducting a disruption operation against an insurgent network that directly influences insurgent activity in Uruzgan.
The soldier was clearing a compound when an IED detonated killing him instantly.
No other Australian or Afghanistan personnel were killed or wounded in the incident.
The Special Operations mission remains ongoing, so I cannot provide specific details about the location or the mission itself without risking the safety of this young man's comrades.
The soldier's family has been informed and Army is providing them with assistance and support.
On behalf of the Army and the Defence community, I offer my deepest sympathy to the soldier's family and his friends. Our thoughts are also with his mates who remain in the field.
The soldier's family has asked that we do not release personal details about the young man at this time nor his service background.
However, I can tell you, he was a highly-qualified soldier with operational experience. His commanding officer described him as an exceptional soldier who will be remembered as genuine, honest and dedicated. His loss will be deeply felt by all those who knew him.
The soldier's death is a solemn reminder of the dangers our servicemen and women face in Afghanistan each day. The loss of any member of the Defence family is significant in its own right, and we must not forget the service or sacrifice of our servicemen and women.
I'll take any questions.
QUESTION: General, can you tell us what rank he was?
GEN DAVID HURLEY: No, I don't - Brendan, won't be providing any details at the moment. As I said, the operation is still is ongoing and will continue for a while yet. So, we'll just wait until that's been completed.
QUESTION: Are you able to say whether it's in Uruzgan or [indistinct]?
GEN DAVID HURLEY: It was on the bordering areas of Uruzgan, yes.
QUESTION: Can you tell us what time of day or night [indistinct]?
GEN DAVID HURLEY: Well, it was late last night our time, so earlier in the day in - about six hours earlier than that in the morning.
QUESTION: Can you tell us if the soldier was on foot or was in a vehicle at the time?
GEN DAVID HURLEY: Dismounted patrol.
QUESTION: Was there contact with insurgents during this mission?
GEN DAVID HURLEY: This is an IED blast, that's all we're aware of at the moment.
QUESTION: No gunfire involved during this stage or…
GEN DAVID HURLEY: Not - we have no detail that we've been provided with.
QUESTION: Do you have any idea how it was detonated?
GEN DAVID HURLEY: No, not at the moment.
Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.