THE family of combat engineer Cpl Scott Smith have attended a sombre ceremony as the fallen soldier’s body arrived in Australia from Afghanistan.
The 24-year-old corporal was killed instantly last week when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated during a mission in northern Helmand province.
Family and comrades were at the Richmond RAAF Base in Sydney on Sunday to meet a C-17 Globemaster aircraft carrying his body.
Members of his Special Operations Engineer Regiment formed a guard of honour and bearer party to escort his casket to his family.
Special Operations Commander Australia Warwick “Gus” Gilmore said Corporal Smith would leave a lasting legacy. “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.”
Chief of Army David Morrison paid tribute to the sacrifice made by the fallen combat engineer.
“The death of Corporal Smith is a tragedy for his family and a great loss for the broader Army family,” Lieutenant General Morrison said.
“Today we recognise the sacrifice that Corporal Smith, a fine young man and a great soldier, has made serving his country.”
Corporal Smith was part of a small team clearing a suspected insurgent compound last Sunday when they discovered rooms packed with IEDs. The commander on the ground ordered everyone out but one IED exploded, killing Corporal Smith instantly.
He was the 39th Australian soldier to die in Afghanistan and the seventh this year.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Lest We Forget.