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Inquiry into the combat death of Private Matthew Lambert completed

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Inquiry into the combat death of Private Matthew Lambert completed

Defence has completed an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Private Matthew Lambert in Afghanistan on 22 August 2011.

Private Lambert was deployed to Afghanistan with Mentoring Task Force Three (MTF-3) and was from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) based in Townsville, North Queensland.

He was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while on a mentored patrol with elements of the Afghan National Army and other Coalition Forces in the Khas Uruzgan region north-east of Tarin Kot.

Private Lambert received immediate first aid from his patrol mates before an aero medical team transferred him to the Role 2 Medical Facility in Tarin Kot where he received further medical treatment. Unfortunately, Private Lambert died from his wounds shortly after his arrival at the Role 2 Medical Facility.

The Inquiry Officer appointed to conduct this inquiry made eight recommendations which have all been accepted and are being implemented by Defence.

Seven of these recommendations relate to refining and strengthening the Australian Defence Force’s counter IED capabilities. The IED threat in Afghanistan is enduring and adaptive.

For operational security reasons, Defence is unable to provide more information regarding these recommendations as this may provide an advantage to insurgents and place Australian Defence Force personnel at greater risk.

The remaining recommendation was that a Commission of Inquiry was not warranted into this incident.

Defence has briefed Private Lambert’s family on the findings of the inquiry and provided them with a copy of the Inquiry Officer’s Report into the circumstances surrounding his death.

The Minister for Defence considered advice from the Chief of the Defence Force and any public interest and has decided not to publicly release the Report into Private Lambert’s death.

Private Lambert's family does not wish to conduct any media interviews and has asked that the media continue to respect their privacy.

Media contact: Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999