Bodies of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan to be back

15:49, June 11, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

The bodies of two Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan this week will return to Australia on Sunday morning, official announced on Friday.

According to Australian Associated Press, a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) transport aircraft carrying the remains of Sappers Jacob Moerland, 21, and Darren Smith, 25, will touch down at RAAF base Amberley, Queensland, for the traditional ramp ceremony.

Their deaths took the Australian casualty toll for Afghanistan to 13 since 2002. This was also the first time Australia has suffered multiple combat casualties since the Vietnam War.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Tuesday said the deaths have been a sobering reminder that Afghanistan is a very tough military campaign.

"We are up against a determined and dangerous enemy. However, under no circumstances can Australians afford to allow Afghanistan to become a free, operating, training base for terrorist organizations in the future," Rudd said in his statement.

As well as family members, the returning home ceremony will be attended by Defense Minister John Faulkner, Defense head Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, Army Chief Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie and Opposition defense personnel spokesman Bob Baldwin.

Funeral services for the two soldiers are likely to be held next week.

Sappers Moerland and Smith, both members of the Brisbane-based 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment, died when an insurgent improvised explosive device (IED) detonated during an operation on Monday.



  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Giant red lantern lights up in Tiananmen Square to celebrate the coming National Day on Oct. 1. (Xinhua/Li Xin)
  • A ceremony is held in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, on Sept. 28, 2011, to commemorate the 2,562nd birthday of Confucius (551-479 BC), a Chinese thinker, educationist and philosopher. (Xinhua/Wu Ching-teng)
  • The world's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner for delivery arrives at Haneda airport in Tokyo, capital of Japan, on Sept. 28, 2011. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, whose buyer is All Nippon Airways (ANA), will implement a flight of ANA on Oct. 26 from Tokyo's Narita Airport to Hong Kong in south China. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)
  • A Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) fighter shows what is believed to be human jawbone found inside a mass grave near Abu Salim prison in Tripoli, Libya, Spet. 27, 2011. The NTC on Sunday said they had found a mass grave containing the bodies of 1,270 people killed by Gaddafi's security forces in a 1996 massacre at Abu Salim prison in southern Tripoli. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
  • Rescue workers and local residents search for survivors after a building collapsed in old Delhi, India, Sept. 27, 2011. At least 10 people were killed and 35 injured when an old three-storey building collapsed. More than a dozen people are still feared trapped under the debris, police said. (Xinhua/Partha Sarkar)
  • A visitor has flying experience in the windmill castle of Jinshitan National Holiday resort in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Sept. 27, 2011. The castle is a 23-meter-high building with 21 meters in diameter. The castle uses wind tunnel to make objects floating in the air. It is the first indoor stadium in China, which enables people to have flying experience. (Xinhua/Zhang Chunlei)
Hot Forum Discussion