Govt Pays Respect to Officer Killed in Action

( Defence Minister Wayne Mapp and Associate Minister of Defence Heather Roy today expressed heartfelt condolences on behalf of the Government to the family and friends of New Zealand Army Lieutenant Tim O’Donnell DSD.

Lieutenant O’Donnell was killed last night on patrol in Bamyan province, Afghanistan, while serving with the New Zealand Defence Force Provincial Reconstruction Team.

“Lieutenant O’Donnell was tragically killed when his patrol came under fire,” Dr Mapp said.

“Our thoughts are very much of him, and with his family and the wider Defence family of which he was an outstanding member. Our sympathies are also with the two Kiwi soldiers and the local interpreter, who all suffered serious injuries.

“Lieutenant O’Donnell has served his country with distinction. He has shown courage and commitment throughout his service. His death is a brutal blow to us all,” he said.

“Lieutenant O’Donnell served as a platoon commander in Timor-Leste from November 2006-May 2007. He received the Distinguished Service Decoration for his cool and steadfast leadership there. His actions prevented disaster when two political factions clashed on the outskirts of Manatuto,” Mrs Roy said.

“Lieutenant O’Donnell’s tragic death is a salient reminder of the danger that our troops face daily as they do their part to fulfil New Zealand’s obligations on the global stage.

“Lieutenant O’Donnell helped make a real difference in the lives of the people of Bamyan province and his sacrifice in the defence of freedom will never be forgotten by the NZDF, the Government or the people of New Zealand,” she said.

Media Release 4 August 2010 from Hon Wayne Mapp, Minister of Defence and Hon Heather Roy, Associate Minister of Defence.