4 April 2012
The New Zealand Defence Force soldier who died in Afghanistan yesterday has been named as Corporal Douglas Hughes, aged 26.
Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones confirmed the soldier died yesterday and an investigation is underway. Corporal Hughes was deployed with the NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan, Afghanistan in September 2011. It was his second rotation in Afghanistan.
"Corporal Hughes was a rifleman from 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, based in Linton Military Camp.
"He was coming towards the end of a six month deployment to Afghanistan serving with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan Province. The contingent is due back in New Zealand later this month.
"An incident occurred at Forward Patrol Base Romero at approximately 1040hrs New Zealand time yesterday.
"Corporal Hughes was flown by air to Bagram Air Base, accompanied by his patrol commander. CPL Hughes was sadly pronounced dead at approximately 1345hrs (NZ time).
"He remains in Bagram Air Base while arrangements are made for his repatriation. The Defence Force intends to return Corporal Hughes to his family as quickly and expeditiously as possible, while supporting his family in this process.
"This is a sad day and, on behalf of the entire New Zealand Defence Force, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, colleagues and friends of Corporal Hughes."
The NZ Defence Force has notified the immediate families of all soldiers involved and are providing assistance and support to them and his comrades in theater and back home in NZ.
The Defence Force is working with the Police and Coroner’s Office on this matter.
"While there has been some speculation in the media around the nature of Corporal Hughes’ death we will be unable to confirm this until a full investigation has been completed," Lieutenant General Jones said.
The Defence Force asks the media to respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time.
Further information will be provided as it becomes available.