Latest Canadian casualty mourned; Trooper killed in Afghanistan well-known for being reliable, talented comrade-at-arms
(AFGHANISTAN) 26 May 2010 - Trooper Larry Rudd "would have been a very senior soldier in the Queen's army," if his life had not been ended suddenly by a homemade landmine on Monday, was the soaring assessment of his commanding officer after a private memorial Tuesday.
"He had more talent than many soldiers that I have seen," said Maj. Christian Lillington, who leads "A" Squadron, the Royal Canadian Dragoons, who had recently deployed to Afghanistan from Petawawa, in the Upper Ottawa Valley to provide reconnaissance for Task Force Kandahar. (
) Rudd was killed when the vehicle he was in struck an improvised explosive device while on a combat resupply patrol that was bringing food and water to troops from Canada's battle group at a remote outpost in the difficult Panjwaii District, about 20 kilometres southwest of Kandahar City.
( ) "To my knowledge, he was killed almost immediately," said Lillington, who is from Antigonish, N.S. "He struck an IED that had been there a long time, or so we had been led to believe."More than two-thirds of Canada's fatalities in Afghanistan have been caused by IEDs that have either struck soldiers on foot patrols or, as in Rudd's case, while mounted in an armoured vehicle."There is no perfect solution" to defend against IEDs, Lillington said. "It is a weapon without rules."Rudd's death had a profound effect on his fellow troopers because "we are a very small squadron and very tight," the major said. The best way forward for his soldiers was to remain "mission-focused" and continue supporting Afghan national security forces, he said. In 2009, 520 NATO troops died in Afghanistan, up from 295 in 2008, mostly as a result of the Taliban laying far more IEDs.
Already this year, 217 coalition troops have been killed. Canada has nearly 3,000 troops in Afghanistan and South Asia. Its combat mission is slated to end next summer. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said that all Canadian troops will leave the country by the end of next year. However, talks are ongoing with NATO about where several hundred Canadians might serve in a much less risky training mission that would begin next year.
Von: Copyright © 2010 Edmonton Journal