The body of the fallen Australian soldier, Scott Smith, arrived home and was warmly welcomed by his family, friends and comrades. He was a combat engineer based in Afghanistan but was instantly killed last week due to a blast caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) during their operation in northern Helmand province.
Family and comrades attended a sombre ceremony in honor of the 24-year-old at the Richmond RAAF Base in Sydney on Sunday. Members of the Special Operations Engineer Regiment, where Scott belonged, formed a guard of honor and bearer party that escorted his casket to his family, an Australian news firm reported on Monday.
Special Operations Commander Australia Warwick Gilmore shared a few words about Corporal Smith. He said that the young soldier has been one of the most respected in the Special Operations Engineer Regiment because not only does he had a pleasing personality, he also did his job with dedication.
"Scott was universally respected by everyone in the Special Operations Engineer Regiment, and well liked by all who crossed paths with this fine young man," Major General Gilmore said. "His fellow combat engineers will honour his sacrifice through continuing the tough and dangerous work they undertake in Afghanistan, with courage and distinction."
Corporal Smith is the 39th Australian soldier (7th for this year alone) who died in Afghanistan since the deployment of Australian forces. He was a part of a small group tasked to clear a suspected insurgent compound last week but they discovered a room full of IEDs. The order from the ground commander came just in time but one IED blasted killing the Corporal immediately.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard already issued an order in April this year that starting in mid-2013, Australian troops will pull out from Afghanistan. By the end of next year, it is expected that no Aussie soldier would stand on Afghan grounds.
Fallen soldier remembered at ceremony