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Sergeant Matthew Locke Begins His Journey Home


SGT Matthew Locke Begins His Journey Home

Sergeant Matthew Locke, the Special Air Service Regiment soldier killed by small arms fire in Afghanistan on Thursday, has begun his return home to Australia.

A sombre Ramp Ceremony was held in Tarin Kowt, southern Afghanistan yesterday afternoon as his mates bid their friend and colleague a sad farewell.

The Commander of Australian operations in the Middle East, Major General Mark Evans extended his deepest sympathies to the family of Sergeant Locke on behalf of all Australian personnel deployed to the region. Major General Evans said Sergeant Locke's sacrifice and legacy would endure and he would not be forgotten.

"On behalf of all members of the Joint Task Force throughout the Middle East, I express our sadness at the tragic loss of Sergeant Locke. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends, and his mates in the Special Forces community, all of whom are touched by his death."

"Those who gathered to farewell him from the operational theatre today will always remember what he sacrificed in serving the nation. He is an inspiration to us all."

A bearer party is travelling with Sergeant Locke to oversee his transfer to an Australian C-130 Hercules aircraft at Diego Garcia.

Defence spokesman, Brigadier Andrew Nikolic said "the aircraft is currently due to arrive in Australia by mid-week. We will provide further arrival details when confirmed. Funeral arrangements are also yet to been confirmed, but we ask the media to respect the family's ongoing request for privacy."

ENDS

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