The Royal Australian Regiment Salutes Corporal Daniel Keighran VC

When Governor-General Quentin Bryce awarded Corporal Daniel Keighran with the Victoria Cross he earned a unique distinction in the history of The Royal Australian Regiment, he became the RAR’s first soldier to be awarded our nations highest award while on active service with a Battalion of the Regiment.  Since the Second World War and the formation of the RAR, there have been four Imperial Victoria Cross and two Victoria Cross for Australia Recipients.  The four Imperial awards were all members of the AATTV serving in the Vietnam War, three of them; Kevin Wheatley, Keith Payne and Ray Simpson were all WO2’s who had previously served in Battalions of the Regiment while the fourth, MAJ Peter Badcoe was an artillery officer.  In Afghanistan, two Victoria Cross of Australia awards have been made to special forces members, Mark Donaldson and  Ben Roberts-Smith of SASR, again both former RAR members.

Today at the United Service Club in Brisbane, The Royal Australian Regiment Association (Queensland Branch) while celebrating the 64th birthday of the Regiment toasted the achievements of Corporal Daniel Keighran VC, the third recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia.

The award was for service in circumstances of great peril at Derapet, Uruzgan Province in Afghanistan.  In August 2010, Corporal Keighran was involved in coordinated enemy attack from multiple firing points.  According to his official citation, he “with complete disregard for his own safety, broke cover on multiple occasions to draw intense and accurate enemy fire to identify enemy locations and direct return fire from Australian and Afghan fire support elements.”  The 29-year-old’s actions were instrumental in permitting the withdrawal of the combined Australian and Afghan patrol with no further casualties.

Speaking at the Investiture Ceremony at Government House in Canberra, CDF  General David Hurley said Corporal Keighran’s selfless actions were of the highest level of bravery.  “Corporal Keighran acted with exceptional clarity and composure that spread to those soldiers around him, giving them confidence to operate effectively in an extremely stressful and dangerous situation.”

Corporal Keighran himself said he was surprised and honoured to receive the award.  “This is a very unexpected and humbling experience and I don’t think it has really sunk in yet.  I am very proud of the boys from Delta Company, 6 RAR and how they performed that day. This award is as much for their efforts as it is for mine.  I would also like to acknowledge my family, friends and especially my wife Kathryn. They have been very supportive throughout my service and deployments and I would like to recognise and thank them.”

Corporal Keighran enlisted in the Australian Army in 2000, prior to Afghanistan, he had served in East Timor and Iraq, was promoted to Lance Corporal in 2005 whilst within Mortar Platoon Support Company, 6RAR and subsequently Corporal in 2009.

CPL Keighran was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions while serving with 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.

Honour the fallen

Commander Joint Task Force 633 visited the troops in Uruzgan following the deaths of five diggers…


ADF announces the death of PTE Nathanael Galagher

Private Nathanael Galagher

It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Private Nathanael John Aubrey Galagher during operations in Afghanistan.

Private Galagher was serving with the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan when he was tragically killed in a helicopter crash on 30 August 2012 (local time Afghanistan).

Private Galagher is survived by his partner Jessie, parents Wayne and Sally and sister Elanor.

Twenty-three year old Private Galagher was born in Wee Waa, New South Wales in 1989. He joined the Army on 22 October 2007 and was posted to the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR). On completion of his Selection and Training Course and Reinforcement Cycle, Private Galagher was posted to the 2nd Commando Regiment in November 2011. Private Galagher was on his second tour to Afghanistan

Private Galagher always put in 110% in every thing he did. He had a ‘can-do’ attitude, always wanting to get the job done and taking everything in his stride. He was an enthusiastic, young soldier who was very well respected by his mates from the Regiment.

Private Galagher has been awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp ICAT, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Australian Defence Medal, the NATO non article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF and the Multiple Tour Indicator (2), the Infantry Combat Badge and the Returned from Active Service Badge.

During Private Galagher’s service in the Australian Army he deployed on the following Operations;

Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Jul – Aug 2012,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Sep 2009 – Feb 2010.

ADF announces the death of LCPL Mervyn McDonald

Lance Corporal Mervyn McDonald

It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Lance Corporal Mervyn John McDonald during operations in Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal McDonald was serving with the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan when he was tragically killed in a helicopter crash on 30 August 2012 (local time Afghanistan).

Lance Corporal McDonald is survived by his fiancée Rachael, his mother Myrna and stepfather Bernie, and brothers Percy, Roger and Gary.

Thirty-year old Lance Corporal McDonald was born in Carnarvon, Western Australia in 1982. He joined the Army on 31 May 1999 and was posted to the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR). On completion of his Selection and Training Course and Reinforcement Cycle, Lance Corporal McDonald was posted to the then 4th Battalion (Commando), The Royal Australian Regiment, now the 2nd Commando Regiment, in August 2008. Lance Corporal McDonald was on his sixth tour to Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal McDonald was quick witted and brought a positive energy to both his unit comrades and all those who served with him. A dedicated and enthusiastic professional soldier, he was always willing to come forward with ideas and solutions. He was a highly professional soldier, but his quiet nature and humility meant he always deflected credit back on to fellow members of his Company.

Lance Corporal McDonald has been awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp East Timor and ICAT, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Australian Service Medal with Clasp East Timor, Timor Leste and CT/SR, the Australian Defence Medal, the United Nations Mission in Support of East Timor Medal, the Timor Leste Solidarity Medal, the NATO non article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF and Multiple Tour Indicator (2), Commander 1st Division Commendation, Infantry Combat Badge and the Returned from Active Service Badge.

During Lance Corporal McDonald’s service in the Australian Army, he deployed on the following Operations;

Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Jul – Aug 2012,
Operation Norwich (Australia) Nov 2011,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Jul – Aug 2011,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Apr – May 2011,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Feb – Mar 2011,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Mar – Jun 2010,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Mar – Jul 2009,
Operation Astute (Timor-Leste) Mar – Jun 2007,
Operation Astute (Timor-Leste) May – Sep 2006,
Operation Citadel (East Timor) May – Oct 2003,
Operation Tanager (East Timor) Oct 2000 – Apr 2001.

ADF announces the death of LCPL Stjepan ‘Rick’ Milosevic

Lance Corporal Stjepan 'Rick' Milosevic

It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Lance Corporal Stjepan ‘Rick’ Milosevic on operations in Afghanistan on 29 August 2012 (local time Afghanistan).

Lance Corporal Milosevic, known as Rick to his family and Milo to his comrades, deployed to Afghanistan with the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment Task Group and was from the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment, Queensland Mounted Infantry (2/14 LHR (QMI)) based in Brisbane, Queensland.

Lance Corporal Milosevic is survived by his wife and their two children.

Lance Corporal Milosevic was born in Penrith, New South Wales, in 1972. He enlisted in the Army in 2008. He was posted as a Cavalryman to the 2/14 LHR (QMI) in Brisbane in 2009 on completion of his basic training and initial employment training. His potential was quickly identified and he achieved outstanding course results in a short period of time; being promoted to Lance Corporal in 2011 and becoming a light armoured vehicle (ASLAV) crew commander. He was a highly-qualified soldier with a strong future.

Lance Corporal Milosevic was a much liked and respected member of the Regiment. His leadership and professional abilities stood out in the unit, on the rugby field and on operations. He was also a devoted family man. He will be sorely missed by his family and comrades.

Lance Corporal Milosevic has been awarded the following honours and awards:

• Australian Active Service Medal with Clasps IRAQ 2003 and ICAT
• Afghanistan Campaign Medal
• Iraq Campaign Medal
• Australian Defence Medal
• NATO Non Article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF
• Army Combat Badge
• Return from Active Service Badge

During Lance Corporal Milosevic’s service in the Australian Army, he deployed on the following operations:

Operation SLIPPER (Afghanistan) June – August 2012
Operation KRUGER (Iraq) June – September 2010

ADF announces the death of PTE Robert Poate

Private Robert Poate

It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Private Robert Hugh Frederick Poate on operations in Afghanistan on 29 August 2012 (local time Afghanistan).

Private Robert Poate was a member of the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment Task Group and was from the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR), based in Brisbane, Queensland.

Private Poate is survived by his parents Hugh and Janny, and his sister, Nicola.

Private Poate was born in Canberra, in 1988. He enlisted in the Army in 2009. On completion of his basic and initial employment training, he was posted as a rifleman to 6 RAR. Private Poate was a highly qualified soldier, having completed specialist training as a Protected Mobility Vehicle Driver in 2010 and Protected Mobility Vehicle Commander in 2011.

Private Poate was known for having outstanding leadership potential, which led to him completing a promotion course for Corporal in 2011. He will be fondly remembered by his ‘Brothers by Choice’ in 6 RAR as a larrikin and an incredibly professional soldier. Private Poate had a reputation for creating mischief without getting caught, and was proud of his family, his military service, his Canberran origins, and his red hair, which he vehemently defended as being ‘strawberry blonde’.

Private Poate has been awarded the following honours and awards:

• Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp ICAT
• Afghanistan Campaign Medal
• Australian Defence Medal
• NATO Non Article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF
• Infantry Combat Badge

During Private Poate’s service in the Australian Army he deployed on the following operation:

Operation SLIPPER (Afghanistan) June – August 2012

ADF announces the death of SPR James Martin

Sapper James Martin

It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Sapper James Thomas Martin on operations in Afghanistan on 29 August 2012 (local time Afghanistan).

Sapper James Thomas Martin was on his first operational deployment as part of the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment Task Group. He was a Sapper from the Brisbane-based 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment.

He is survived by his mother Suzanne Thomas, his younger brother and sister Angus and Holly, and his grandparents Lucille and Ralph Thomas.

Sapper Martin was born in Perth, Western Australia on 1 June 1991. He enlisted into the Australian Regular Army on 24 January 2011 and completed recruit training at the 1st Recruit Training Battalion in Wagga Wagga in April 2011, where he was allocated to the Corps of Royal Australian Engineers.

In May 2011, Sapper Martin attended the School of Military Engineering in Sydney and began his Initial Employment Training as a Combat Engineer. On completion of his Combat Engineer course in August 2011, he was posted to the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment in Brisbane.

On his arrival at the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment, Sapper Martin became a member of the 7th Combat Engineer Squadron. He completed a number of additional courses including Combat Engineer High Threat Search, Communications and Weapon courses. Along with the rest of his Squadron, Sapper Martin Force Concentrated in Townsville with the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment in early 2012, in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan.

Sapper Martin was an intellectual soldier who was a quick learner and adapted well to the Army environment. He was respected by his mates and was considered a loyal friend and comrade. A musically talented individual, he often played his base guitar for his mates. He was also an avid follower of Aussie Rules.

Sapper Martin has been awarded the following honours and awards:

• Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp ICAT
• Afghanistan Campaign Medal
• Australian Defence Medal
• NATO Non Article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF
• Army Combat Badge

During Sapper Martin’s service in the Australian Army, he deployed on the following operations:

Operation SLIPPER (Afghanistan) June – August 2012

Haqqani commander believed killed in air strike

The operational commander of Afghanistan’s most prominent militant group has reportedly been killed in an American air strike, according to members of his family.

Badruddin Haqqani was a senior operational commander and financial boss of the Al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network.

The militant group was started by his father, and has been behind some of the most high profile attacks against foreign forces in Afghanistan.

A relative of Badruddin has told the BBC that the militant leader was killed in an airstrike last Tuesday in the Pakistani province of North Wazirstan.

Local officials and tribesmen also say he has been killed, but the US military has not yet confirmed this.

Analysts say his death would be a huge victory for coalition forces in the fight against Afghan insurgents.

Ahmed Rashid, a specialist on militancy in Pakistan, says Badruddin’s death would be a significant blow to the network.

“I think it’s terribly important. Badruddin was the operational commander, but he was also one of the main financiers,” he said.

“He would travel on a Pakistani passport to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states to raise donations from sympathisers and supporters in the Arab world, and he was very well known in jihadist circles, including Al Qaeda.”

A probe is underway by Pakistani officials to confirm the reports that Badruddin Haqqani, the son of the founder of the powerful Haqqani network, was killed in a US drone strike this week.

Two Pakistani intelligence officials said, citing reports from their agents, on Saturday they are 90 per cent certain that Badruddin was killed on Tuesday in North Waziristan, The Associated Press reported.

However, no eyewitness of the body has been found yet.

A senior Taliban commander said a US drone strike killed Badruddin, but there was no independent confirmation.

Badruddin has been described as the outfit’s day-to-day operations commander. His death, if confirmed, would mark a major blow to the organisation founded by his father, Jalaluddin Haqqani.

On This Day 2010 – Afghanistan

On this day in 2010 a platoon from D coy 6 RAR, mentors and their ANA counterparts set off for patrol into the village of Derapet.

 

Three and a half hours later it became one of the defining battles of our deployment. In it we lost one of finest, LCPL  Jared “Crash” MacKinney. A true Aussie digger always good for a laugh but got stuck into any work when it was needed. A really great friend who will be missed by all.

Love you mate, catch you later….

David Deitz

“Lest We Forget”

Troops lured to death with dinner invitation

Updated August 10, 2012 19:12:48 ABC News
PHOTO: The men, all American special forces members, were killed on Thursday night while attending a meeting. (ABC News)

An Afghan police commander and several of his men killed three US soldiers in the southern province of Helmand, turning guns on them after inviting them to a dinner to discuss security, Afghan officials said on Friday.

The men were all American special forces members and were killed on Thursday night while attending a meeting in the Sarwan Qala area, in what appeared to be a planned attack by rogue Afghan forces.

The Sangin district chief in the southern province, Mohammad Sharif, said three foreign special forces soldiers had been killed by an Afghan policeman after he had invited them to dinner.

“Last night, a police checkpost commander invited three foreign special forces soldiers to a dinner party at the checkpost. He later killed them and ran away,” he said.

A spokeswoman for NATO-led forces in the country confirmed the incident but said it was too early to say whether it was a rogue shooting or due to insurgent infiltration.

“All we know is that they were killed by an Afghan in a uniform of some sort,” the spokeswoman said.

So-called green-on-blue shootings, in which Afghan police or soldiers turn their guns on their Western colleagues, have seriously eroded trust between the allies as NATO combat soldiers prepare to hand over to Afghan forces by 2014, after which most foreign forces will leave the country.

According to NATO, there have been 24 such attacks on foreign troops since January in which 28 people have been killed, not including Thursday’s attack. Last year, there were 21 attacks in which 35 people were killed.

Four Australians have been killed by Afghan troops during the conflict, while another three have been seriously injured.

Another foreign soldier was killed in the south on Friday during an insurgent attack, NATO said, while seven civilians were killed and three were wounded by an insurgent roadside bomb, also in Helmand.

In a grim 24 hours for the NATO-led force, three US soldiers and an American aid worker were killed earlier on Thursday in the eastern province of Kunar in an attack by a suicide bomber.

AFP/Reuters

Topics: unrest-conflict-and-warafghanistanunited-kingdom

First posted August 10, 2012 18:38:12