Monday, 13 June 2011

'He died protecting mates': Sapper Robinson farewelled

Specialist combat engineer Sapper Rowan Robinson. Photo: ADF

The 27th Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan has been honoured in a ramp ceremony at Amberley Air Force Base in Queensland.

Sapper Rowan Robinson, 23, was killed by insurgent fire last week after his patrol destroyed an enemy weapons cache during operations in southern Helmand.

He was on his second deployment to Afghanistan.

Sapper Rowan Robinson's casket is carried out of the Amberley ramp ceremony

Sapper Rowan Robinson's casket is carried out of the Amberley ramp ceremony Photo: ADF

To protect the identities of those attending, the media were excluded from Monday's ramp ceremony at the base west of Brisbane.

Sapper Robinson's family has also requested they be left alone to mourn.

Parents Marie and Peter, sister Rachael and brothers Ben and Troy said Rowan's death had devastated them.

"We know he died protecting his mates and doing a job he loved, a job for which he was greatly respected by the people who served by his side," the family said in a statement released on Sunday.

Fellow soldiers described the highly decorated combat engineer as a "superb young man who was fit, happy-go-lucky and a great team member".

"Those who had the pleasure of meeting him instantly warmed to him, and his easy-going nature made him popular with his peers and chain of command alike," a defence statement read.

Australia has 1550 troops deployed in Afghanistan, including a 320-strong Special Operations Task Group comprising personnel from the Perth-based Special Air Service Regiment and the Sydney-based Commando and Incident Response regiments.

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Pick said...

Lovely tribute Damien.

Each time we lose a soldier I die a little too.
Bring them home!

Sue said...

This is the way each and every American soldier's death should be handled. But they are not. We never are allowed to even see the caskets arrive here in the states. They quickly become just numbers. If the names and stories were published, the public would become more involved and interested in ending the wars we are fighting and bringing our children home. Hurray for Australia handling this correctly!

Moobeat said...

This is a kind remembrance.