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SPR Jordan Penpraze has died from
injuries suffered in a Unimog crash
at Holsworthy Range on October 8.
A trainee at SME, Spr Penpraze
was a passenger in the vehicle when it
rolled over, injuring 18 soldiers.
The 22-year-old was in a critical
condition when his family made the
heart-wrenching decision to switch off
his life support on October 10.
CO SME Lt-Col Allan Hollink
expressed his deepest sympathies and
praised Spr Penpraze for his dedica-
tion to the ADF.
"The Australian Army has lost one
of its newest soldiers," he said.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with
Jordan's family, his friends and his
"Our focus at the moment is on
providing them with emotional and
welfare support as they deal with this
Spr Penpraze's family is receiving
Devoted digger lost
in tragic truck crash
Holsworthy truck rollover claims a soldier's life
Afghan kandaks will soon be independent
A KANDAK of the Afghan
National Army's 4th Brigade com-
menced independent operations
without advisers in Uruzgan dur-
ing early October.
The remaining three kandaks,
currently rated as "effective with
advisers", are expected to be inde-
pendent by the end of the year
after transition commenced in
Defence Minister Stephen
Smith made the announcement
during a meeting of NATO and
ISAF defence ministers in Brussels
on October 9-10.
Mr Smith said Australian and
ISAF commanders were confident
the transition to Afghan-led secu-
rity in the province over the next
12 to 15 months was on track.
Apart from the transition, the
talks centred on force protection
arrangements after recent insider
Mr Smith said the number of
these attacks was small in the con-
text of the 350,000-strong Afghan
Nation Security Forces.
"We must however be clear
sighted about this threat. We
[ISAF] have seen less than 100
such incidents over the last two
years," he said.
"Whatever the motivation for
these attacks, the Taliban tactic
is to claim them as their own for
Later, Prime Minister Julia
Gillard made a surprise visit to
Afghanistan on October 14 where
she met with Australian troops in
Speaking to the soldiers at
Tarin Kot, Ms Gillard thanked
them for their efforts in Uruzgan
province supporting the mission
of training the Afghan National
"One reason I am here today
is to just to say a big thank you
to you on behalf of the Australian
nation," she said.
"The Australian nation has an
insight into your lives here and has
an insight into how tough it is and
they're full of admiration for the
way you've kept going even when
it's been really, really tough."
In a whirlwind tour the
Prime Minister met with Afghan
President Hamid Karzai and ISAF
Commander US Marine Corps
Gen John Allen in Kabul before
flying to Uruzgan.
In Tarin Kot the Prime
Minister was briefed by
Combined Team Uruzgan com-
manders, met with provincial
Governor Amir Mohammad
Akhundzada and shared a meal
with Australian troops.
Surprise visit: Cpl Rachel Tierney and Sgts Ian Dale and Dave Langley meet with Prime Minister Julia Gillard during
her visit to Multinational Base Tarin Kot in Afghanistan.
Photo by Sgt William Guthrie
COL Simon Stuart assumed com-
mand of Combined Team Uruzgan
in Afghanistan from US Col Gerald
Hadley as Australia took the lead for
the first time on October 18.
Col Stuart said an Australian-led
CTU would help ensure the smooth
transition to Afghan security respon-
sibility in Uruzgan province over the
next 12-15 months.
CTU was established in 2010
under US command with the role of
commanding International Security
Assistance Force operations in
Most elements of the new
Australian-led CTU headquarters
are already in Afghanistan.
support from Defence while the ADF
Investigative Service continues to work
with the NSW Police and ComCare to
determine the cause of the accident.
One soldier remains in hospital
and three others are in military med-
ical centres, where they are being
treated for their injuries. All are in a
The 13 other soldiers were
released from hospital care and sup-
port for these soldiers is being pro-
vided by military health facilities.
Lt-Col Hollink said Spr Penpraze
was a respected and well liked mem-
ber of his troop.
"Spr Penpraze was a quiet and
stoic sapper who possessed a deter-
mination to perform to the best of his
ability," he said.
"While Spr Penpraze completed
everything he did to a high standard,
he excelled at watermanship, show-
ing his skills with watercraft and a
passion for boats.
"His previous experience allowed
him to take on a leadership role dur-
ing this phase of the course.
Spr Penpraze enlisted in the
Army on April 3 this year and upon
completing recruit training, he com-
menced initial employment training
at SME on July 11.
During his time in Holdfast Tp,
Spr Penpraze demonstrated his quick
thinking when he and another soldier
successfully resuscitated an elderly
person while off duty in Liverpool.
He remained with the patient,
maintaining CPR until the ambulance
Lt-Col Hollink said Spr Penpraze
was committed to his section and his
mates and completed his work with
no reservations or complaints.
"He would rather take the hard
job or the heavy load to spare a mate
that was doing it tough," he said.
"It was this selfless commitment
to his mates that made him such a
respected member of 3 Tp."
Stuart and Col
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