Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 5 2011 Contents 7
It is with deep regret that the Australian
Defence Force confirms that Captain
Bryce Duffy, Corporal Ashley Birt and
Lance Corporal Luke Gavin were killed on
operations in Afghanistan on October 29.
Seven soldiers were also wounded when a
member of the Afghan National Army opened
fire with an automatic weapon.
The families of Captain Duffy, Corporal
Birt, Lance Corporal Gavin and the
wounded soldiers are receiving support
from the Australian Defence Organisation.
Captain Bryce Duffy (above) was born in
Sydney in 1984 and was educated in Brisbane.
He joined the Australian Defence Force
Academy in January 2003 and completed a
Bachelor of Science. He graduated from the
Royal Military College in December 2006.
He was then posted to 1st Field Regiment,
Royal Australian Artillery in Brisbane.
Captain Duffy was a member of the
Mentoring Task Force – Three and was
from the 4th Field Regiment, Royal
Regiment of Australian Artillery, based
in Townsville. He is sur vived by his wife,
mother and family.
Captain Duffy was a well known and highly
regarded young officer. He was recognised by
his commanders for his strength of character,
determination and diligence. His peers
remember him as an officer who maintained
the highest possible personal standards.
His selfless dedication to duty was
demonstrated by the fact that he had
volunteered for his second tour of duty in
Afghanistan at short notice, after a fellow
officer was wounded in action.
Captain Duffy deployed on Operation
Slipper (Afghanistan) from January to
October 2010, Operation Yasi Assist
(Australia) in February 2011, and
Operation Slipper from September to
Corporal Ashley Birt (above) was born
in Nambour, Queensland in 1989. He
enlisted into the Australian Regular Army
in June 2007 and was allocated to the
Royal Australian Engineers as a geospatial
Following his initial employment
training and Specialist Technical Geospatial
Basic course in December 2008, he was
posted to the 1st Topographical Sur vey
Squadron. He was promoted to Lance
Corporal in February 2011 and to
Corporal in April 2011.
Corporal Birt was part of Combined
Team Uruzgan and is sur vived by his
parents and brother.
His colleagues describe him as being
a proud and well liked soldier. He
maintained a very high level of physical
fitness and played hockey at the highest
levels. Due to his natural leadership style,
maturity, work ethic and dedication to his
specialist trade, he was promoted through
the ranks quickly.
He was a great mate to his many
colleagues and well liked by all. He was
a larrikin and was always smiling. His
mates remember him as a great bloke, a
distinguished sportsman and an excellent
soldier. He will not be forgotten and will
always remain a part of the sapper family.
Corporal Birt deployed on Operation
Anode (Solomon Islands) from July to
September 2010, Operation Queensland
Flood Assist from January to February
2011, and Operation Slipper (Afghanistan)
from May to October 2011.
Lance Corporal Luke Gavin (above) was
a member of the Mentoring Task Force –
Three and was from the 2nd Battalion,
Royal Australian Regiment in Townsville.
Lance Corporal Gavin was born in
Manly in 1984. He enlisted in the Army
in 2004 and following his basic training
and initial employment training, he was
posted as an infantryman to the 2nd
Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment,
in Townsville in 2005. He was promoted
to Lance Corporal in January 2009.
He was a highly qualified soldier, having
completed specialist training as a combat
first-aider, Pashtu linguist and infantry
support weapons operator. Lance Corporal
Gavin was a highly respected member of
the 2nd Battalion. He was acknowledged
by his superiors for his positive attitude
and loyalty. His subordinate soldiers
were motivated by his professionalism,
mateship and outstanding specialist skills.
He was also known for being a devoted
husband and father.
Lance Corporal Gavin is sur vived by
his wife and their three children.
Lance Corporal Gavin deployed on
Operation Astute (East Timor) on three
occasions, the first from May to October
2006, before further deployments from
October to March 2008, and again
from May 2009 to February 2010. He
deployed on Operation Slipper from
June to October this year.
Multiple casualties in Afghanistan
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