Archive Logo.jpg

March 31, 2006


Canadian and US troops fighting - and dying - side by side.

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry

A ramp ceremony was held for Private Robert Costall at Kandahar Airfield on March 29. Canadian DND photo

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - At 10 p.m. Tuesday, on a cool, cloudless night in Afghanistan, Private Robert Costall and 30 fellow members of Canada's Quick Reaction Force were scrambled into helicopters at Kandahar Airfield and whisked to the lawless wastes of Sangin district, a difficult corner of a dangerous land.

Five hours later, Pte. Costall was dead, and his fellow soldiers were in the midst of the most serious and deadly battle faced by Canadian soldiers in 32 years.

A U.S. soldier and an unspecified number of Afghan army troops also died in the battle -- as did a reported 33 Taliban insurgents.

Not since the death of three Canadian peacekeepers in 1974 -- killed defending Nicosia airport in Cyprus -- has a Canadian soldier been killed during a firefight with enemy troops.

According to the Winnipeg Sun (the Sun has a pic of Private Costall):

Brig.-Gen. David Fraser, commander of Task Force Afghanistan, said Taliban forces attacked coalition troops, who had been sent to the area after the recent death of eight Afghan army soldiers.

He said Costall died defending his fellow soldiers but refused to give out further details of the battle.

We'll set a couple more places at Fiddler's Green - but they have a fine escort, too.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance - In Memoriam:

Private Robert Costall

Sgt. 1st Class John T. Stone

Brothers-in-Arms. Gentlemen, here's some music for the march down the road, the Regimental March, courtesy the Regimental Band via the Canadian Infantry Association. When you get there, take off your boots, SGT Whiskey will tend to your feet.

From the Minister of Defence:

Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the Death of Private Robert Costall NR–06.009 - March 29, 2006

OTTAWA – Gordon O’Connor, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement this morning:

“We mourn today the death of Private Robert Costall who fell while defending his comrades when insurgents attacked them last night northwest of Kandahar in Afghanistan. There is no greater loss to a family and friends than that of a loved one. And there is no greater loss to the Canadian Forces family than that of one of its own. My heartfelt thoughts and sympathies are with his family today and we hope for a speedy recovery of those injured.

I join with Canadians who stand proudly with our men and women of the Canadian Forces as they steadfastly continue this mission to protect Canada and Canadians from the global threats of terrorism and help bring stability and security to the people of Afghanistan. There are risks involved in this operation, but our members are among the best trained, and most experienced soldiers in the world. They are fully prepared for the mission in Afghanistan.

Private Costall will not be forgotten.”

Read the whole story here.

The Winnipeg Sun story is here.

For those who may be muttering "Big deal, one troop dead, so what, given our casualties?"

For Canada, it *is* a big deal. And that's good enough for me.

John | Permalink | Comments (11) | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Quotulatiousness links with: A salute to the fallen
» Dust my Broom links with: Red Ensign Standard
» Dust my Broom links with: Red Ensign Standard