AUSTRALIA has lost its 40th Digger in Afghanistan operations after the death of a special forces soldier in a firefight yesterday.
Defence Force chief General David Hurley this morning said the soldier was killed by small arms fire during the operation to disrupt an insurgent network in the Khod Valley in southern Afghanistan about 3pm yesterday Australian time.
Based in Sydney's 2nd Commando Regiment, the deceased soldier was described by his colleagues as "one of the most iconic figures" in the regiment.It was his fifth tour of Afghanistan. He had also served in Iraq and Timor Leste. "This man was a decorated soldier," General Hurley said. "In combat and as a team commander, he was the man to watch and was never happier than when the situation demanded decisive action and courage."
Another Special Forces soldier was seriously injured by gunshot wounds and was receiving treatment after being evacuated to the Tarin Kowt base.
An RAAF Airman also received minor injuries and was receiving treatment at the base.