10 August 2012
Senior military officials pay tribute to Lance Corporal Rory Malone and Lance Corporal Pralli Durrer as they are carried off a US Air Force C-17 aircraft
It was a sombre occasion as Lance Corporals (LCPL) Pralli Durrer and Rory Malone, who were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday, arrived back in New Zealand tonight.
LCPL Durrer and LCPL Malone arrived in Christchurch on a United States Air Force C-17 at 2250 hours, and were met by members of their families, senior military officials, and personnel from 2nd/1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/1 RNZIR) and Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles (QAMR).
The Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones said, “Tonight LCPL Durrer and LCPL Malone have returned home to both their families. The Defence Force family will continue to support the Durrers and the Malones over this difficult time, because in one sense we share a common loss.”
LT GEN Jones acknowledged that the support provided by the United States Department of Defence was crucial in repatriating the soldiers back to New Zealand.
“The NZ Defence Force is extremely grateful for the assistance provided by the US Air Force which enabled LCPLs Durrer and Malone to come back home as quickly as possible.”
Final arrangements are being made for a military commemorative service on Saturday 11 August at Burnham Military Camp, before LCPL Durrer and Malone are returned to their families for private funeral services.
Military Commemorative Service for LCPL Durrer and LCPL Malone
Where: Burnham Military Camp, Gymnasium.
When: Saturday 11 August, 1:00pm.
Media are invited to attend the combined military commemorative service at Burnham and must abide by the restrictions below to attend. Remember to bring photographic ID on the day.
Please note there will be strict filming/photographing requirements within Camp:
· The media must stand where directed.
· Media need to be at Burnham at 1000 to set up.
· Filming/photographing of both the Durrer and Malone families is restricted, please refrain from showing extreme close ups of grieving family members.
· Only NZ Army spokespeople identified to you on the day of the funeral will be permitted to give interviews.
Media wishing to attend the funeral must register their interest before 5.00pm Friday with Defence Communications Group phone 021 487 980