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NEW Zealand is mourning the loss
of Lt Timothy O'Donnell, 28 -- the
nation's first death in Afghanistan.
Lt O'Donnell, 2/1 RNZIR, was killed
in north-east Bamiyan province on
August 4, when his patrol came under
sustained attack with explosives, rocket
propelled grenades and gunfire.
Two other members of the patrol were
wounded and evacuated to Germany.
Lt O'Donnell had been in the Army
for five years and held a Distinguished
Service Decoration, awarded in 2008,
for his work in East Timor.
While in East Timor, he and his pla-
toon came to the aid of a Fretilin convoy
that had been ambushed by 600 opposi-
tion supporters in the town of Manatuto.
Lt O'Donnell had been in
Afghanistan since April.
NZ Prime Minister John Key said he
had spoken to Lt O'Donnell's mother
who was extremely proud of her son.
NZ CDF Lt-Gen Jerry Mateparae said,
"Let me again reiterate the deepest sym-
pathies of the Defence Force to the fam-
ily of Lt O'Donnell, who has made the
ultimate sacrifice in service of his nation."
Defence Minister John Faulkner
By Lt Bill Heck
EVERY Thursday afternoon on a
dusty soccer ground near Dubai,
a dedicated group of young ADF
members gather to celebrate and
participate in an Australian ritual
The growing band of enthusi-
asts pick teams, distribute shirts and
often play late into the night until
the game is called due to total dark-
Cpl Stuart Bond (RAAF) said
guys were coming down to play
touch, but there was no such thing
as a social touch game, because eve-
ryone plays for sheep stations.
"We just started by having a kick
and a catch for fun, but we thought
'stuff this' and decided to play some
real footy," Cpl Bond said.
"It caught on and we are getting
around 20 blokes regularly every
week. The surface isn't the best, but
that just brings everyone back to a
more even level."
The rules are modified slightly
to suit the size of the ground and
there is no umpire, but it makes lit-
tle difference to the players.
CPO Brent Irving said the spirit
in which the lads played was first
class and there was no animosity, no
hard hits and nothing unwarranted.
"There have been a few smacks
in the head but we acknowledge
when someone has been hit and
we give them the ball," CPO Irving
WORLD NEWS 15
Army August 19, 2010
Passionate: A growing band of dedicated players is introducing AFL to the MEAO. Photo by Lt Bill Heck
Troops kick on in MEAO
joined the Prime Minister and Leader of
the Opposition in sending condolences.
"Australia and New Zealand have
served together in military operations
over a very long time, including in
Afghanistan," Senator Faulkner said.
"As Minister for Defence I offered
Australia's sincere condolences to the
New Zealand people and the family of
Lt O'Donnell for their tragic loss."
Taliban insurgent killed
TALIBAN insurgent leader Mullah
Dawood has been killed in a joint opera-
tion by Afghan National Security Forces
and Australian Special Forces.
The operation has significantly dis-
rupted insurgent operations in the Deh
Rafshan region of Uruzgan province.
Mullah Dawood, who was responsi-
ble for coordinating small arms and IED
attacks on Coalition forces in central
Uruzgan, was killed on July 14.
No Afghan or Australian soldiers
were wounded or killed in the incident.
So far this year three ADF person-
nel have been killed and 34 have been
wounded by IED attacks in Uruzgan.
Sad loss: Lt Timothy O'Donnell
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