Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird MG, was killed on operations in Afghanistan on June 22, 2013.
Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird MG, was killed on operations in Afghanistan on June 22, 2013. Australian Defence Force

Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan has been named

UPDATE MONDAY: The Australian commando killed in Afghanistan on the weekend was an "outstanding" soldier who "inspired those around him".

Corporal Cameron Baird was killed by small arms fire during an engagement with insurgents on Saturday.

The Medal for Gallantry winner, who was born in Tasmania and was based in the 2nd Commando Regiment in Sydney, became the 40th Australian soldier killed in the war-torn country.

Ten of the soldiers killed in the Afghan conflict have been special force commandos.

Defence said in a statement Cpl Baird had the "unconditional respect of his fellow commandos".

"Cpl Baird died how he lived - at the front, giving it his all, without any indecision.

He will forever be remembered by his mates and the soldiers he served with in the 2nd Commando Regiment," the statement read.

Cpl Baird won his Medal for Gallantry for his acts during a mission to clear and search a Taliban stronghold in November 2007.

He is survived by his parents, brother and partner, who have asked for privacy while they grieve.

 

SUNDAY: An Australian Special Forces soldier was killed and two were injured during fighting in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, on Saturday.

Defence Force Chief General David Hurley, announced the fatality on Sunday, reporting the soldier was killed during a small arms engagement.

Another soldier was seriously injured and a third, an airforce airman, suffered minor injuries and were receiving medical treatment.

Gen Hurley extended his deepest sympathy to the soldier's family, saying the entire force "shared their loss and feel their pain"."

His mates describe him as one of the most iconic figures in the regiment," Gen Hurley said.

"He was on his fifth tour of Afghanistan having previously served in Iraq and Timor-Leste.

"In combat, and as a Team Commander, he was the man to watch and never happier than when the situation demanded decisive action and courage."

Gen Hurley said his thoughts and prayers were also with the wounded soldiers and the families, wishing them a speedy recovery.

The latest death was the 40th Australian casualty of the war in Afghanistan, and comes as the Defence Force continues to work toward a major troop withdrawal by the end of the year.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said it was particularly cruel that as a service opening a memorial for those lost in Afghanistan, the first reports came through about the latest casualty.

"Every death, every loss in Afghanistan hits the nation hard," she said.

"I think not only will the nation be hit hard today, but for many, this will be a very painful reminder that the risk is not over, the danger isn't gone.

"Our last loss was in October last year and I think many have probably lulled themselves into a false sense of security that we would see no more losses in Afghanistan."

She said the latest death was a reminder that the mission was ongoing and the danger remained.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott also extended his condolences to the soldier's family, honouring his service and sacrifice.

The family of the fallen soldier asked that his name not be released at the time, and the names of those wounded would not be released.

An internal inquiry would be set up into the death, as is standard protocol after such incidents.



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