Lance Corporal Jared Mackinney farewelled from
To the haunting notes of the Last Post, Australian soldiers from the 1st
Mentoring Task Force have farewelled one of their fallen mates in a solemn
ceremony at Multi-National Base Tarin Kot.
Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney, 28, of the Brisbane-based 6th Battalion the
Royal Australian Regiment, was killed during an engagement with insurgents
in the Deh Rawud region last Tuesday (24 August 2010).
Commander Joint Task Force 633 Major General John Cantwell said Lance
Corporal MacKinney was an extremely popular soldier in the 6th Battalion who
will be sorely missed by all.
“Jared was only recently promoted to Lance Corporal and he had taken on that
extra responsibility of looking after his section mates in a way that few
do,” Major General Cantwell said.
“He was killed while engaging the numerous insurgents who were firing on his
section and their Afghan colleagues – Jared died protecting and supporting
Major General Cantwell said while Jared’s death has hit his Mentoring Team
particularly hard they are focused on getting back out into the green zone
with their Afghan National Army colleagues and taking the fight to the
“Aussie soldiers don’t back down from a fight – these blokes want to get
back in there and dominate that area for Jared and the other mates they’ve
lost over the past few weeks.
“They’re more determined than ever to see this through – they’re fighting
for the mates they’ve lost, each other, and their Afghan comrades who are in
the thick of it everyday.
“It’s what Aussie soldiers do, it’s what Jared did, and I’m very proud to
say, it’s what the soldiers of the 1st Mentoring Task Force will continue to
do right up to that point when their tour is finished and they go home.”
Major General Cantwell said the soldiers in the Task Force took comfort from
the fact that the Army and groups such as the Defence Community Organisation
and the 6th Battalion Association were supporting Jared’s wife Beckie and
daughter Annabell during this difficult time.
“I can’t even begin to understand Beckie’s terrible grief with their new son
only a few weeks away but I know that the wider Army and Defence family are
right there for anything she needs – that’s comforting for me as a commander
but also for Jared’s mates.”
The memorial service was followed by a traditional ramp ceremony with more
than 1000 Australian, ISAF and Afghan service personnel lining the road to
the Tarin Kot airstrip to pay their final respects as the flag-draped casket
of Lance Corporal MacKinney moved past.
The fallen soldier was taken to the major Australian Support Area at Al
Minhad Air Base in the UAE and will remain under the watchful guard of
fellow Australian soldiers until he commences the next leg of his journey
home in the coming days.
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