Aussie soldier starts final journey home

Trooper Brown, 29, a member of the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR), was farewelled by fellow members of the Special Operations Task Group in a moving ceremony at Camp Russell at the main Australian base Tarin Kowt.

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He was the 18th Australian soldier to die in Afghanistan and the seventh so far this year.

Commander of Australian forces in the Middle East Major General John Cantwell said Trooper Brown was remembered by his mates in the SASR and 2nd Commando Regiment as a professional soldier who strived to excel in all he did.

“It was a very moving service that allowed Jason’s mates to come together and remember him in a way that only those who have forged the closest bonds possibly can,” Major-General Cantwell said in a statement.

“It was a warrior’s send-off by our nation’s finest soldiers – something I’m sure Jason would have been extremely humbled by, but something he truly earned with his dedicated and selfless service.”

Major-General Cantwell said the emotion clearly visible at the memorial service was evidence of how highly regarded Jason was among both of his former Special Forces units.

“Jason’s death has hit us all tremendously and the service was a chance for his mates to grieve among friends before getting back on with the job,” he said.

The memorial service, conducted overnight Australian time, was followed by a traditional ramp ceremony.

His flag-draped casket was carried from the base and placed aboard a RAAF C-130 Hercules aircraft for the flight to the Australian base at the Al-Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.

More than 1000 Australian, ISAF and Afghan servicemen and women lined the road to the Tarin Kowt airstrip to pay their final respects.

He will start his journey back to Australia this evening.

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