Operations in Afghanistan

Captain Daniel Read killed in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Captain Daniel Read from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, part of the Counter-IED Task Force, was killed in Afghanistan on Monday 11 January 2010.

Captain Daniel Read (All rights reserved.)
Captain Daniel Read (All rights reserved.)

Captain Daniel Read was killed as a result of an explosion which happened in the Musa Qaleh area of northern Helmand province.

Captain Daniel Read

Captain Dan Read deployed on Operation HERRICK 11 as a High Threat Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Disposal Operator.

He was born in Kent in December 1978 and was 31 years old when he was tragically killed in an IED blast whilst he was on task supporting Battle Group (North West).

Having completed his GCSEs at Rainham Mark Grammar School, Captain Read joined the Corps of Royal Engineers in 1996 as a Sapper. He was posted to 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD) and got his first taste of EOD operations on Op FINGAL in 2002 when he deployed as a Search Team Second-in-Command. From this point on, Captain Read was ‘hooked’ on EOD and knew the only job for him was that of an Ammunition Technical Officer or ‘ATO’.

When he returned from the tour, Captain Read applied for a commission in the Royal Logistic Corps; he was successful and he completed his course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in December 2004.

Captain Read was commissioned into the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC)and was posted to 23 Pioneer Regiment RLC as a Troop Commander in April 2005. Typically, he could not sit still and his zest and enthusiasm inspired him to complete the All Arms Commando Course and a tour of Afghanistan in 2006.

Captain Read’s passion for EOD operations had not deteriorated and at the first opportunity he volunteered for the Ammunition Technical Officers’ Course which he completed in May 2008 and was posted to 821 EOD Squadron, 11 EOD Regiment RLC.

In August 2009 he passed the high threat operator course and immediately began the pre-deployment training for Op HERRICK 11.

Captain Read was an experienced operator. He attended 21 tasks in Afghanistan, and had already dealt with 32 IEDs. Captain Read was passionate about his role as a High Threat Improvised Explosive Device Disposal Operator, always displaying a boundless enthusiasm and energy for the tasks he undertook.

Captain Read leaves his wife Lorraine, parents and sisters behind. Our thoughts and prayers will hopefully provide some solace at this time and help them through this tragic loss.

Captain Read’s widow, Mrs Lorraine (known as ‘Lou’) Read, has made the following statement:

Dan was so brave, he was my hero and best friend, he was a loving husband, son, brother, uncle and friend. He will never be forgotten and always in my heart. I’m so proud and privileged to have been your wife.

Lieutenant Colonel Gareth Bex RLC, Commanding Officer, Counter-IED Task Force and 11 EOD Regiment RLC, said:

Dan Read was filled with a zest for life, and I found him instantly likeable when I first met him in November 2008. He epitomised the values of selfless commitment, loyalty and deep-seated courage.

Such was his professionalism and determination that even an injury sustained in a bomb blast in October 2009 could not keep him away for more than two months and he returned to theatre in December 2009 as soon as his injuries were healed.

Despite the inherent dangers, Dan was determined to return to Afghanistan; he had a job to finish and a team to rejoin. My thoughts go out to Lou, his wife, who was Dan’s rock.

His return after injury is but one example that could be used to illustrate Dan’s tremendous physical and mental courage, but for those who knew him you simply had to see the cheeky grin or hear him say ‘no dramas’ in the face of a daunting task to know that nothing could faze him.

A natural leader, Dan was well respected and held in deep affection by his men. He led by example, loved working in the close-knit community that is typical of the improvised explosive device disposal [IEDD] teams, and would have done anything for his men.

“He relished his role as an IEDD operator and was very proud to have reached the pinnacle that is denoted by ‘high threat’ status. Dan will always be remembered for his buoyant character, infectious sense of humour and love for a social gathering.

“He made the ultimate sacrifice, but his actions have saved countless numbers of the lives of both his fellow soldiers and the Afghans whom he fought to protect.

“In ridding Helmand province of the indiscriminate threat of these explosive devices he has served a noble cause and we are inspired by his incredible bravery and personal example.

I am proud and honoured to have been the Commanding Officer of a man of Dan’s calibre. His death will not be in vain; we will see to that.

Captain Daniel Read (All rights reserved.)
Captain Daniel Read, 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps (All rights reserved.)

Lieutenant Colonel Harry Fullerton, Commanding Officer Battle Group (North West), said:

This has been a tragic day. Words cannot express how we all feel. Captain Dan Read had become, in a short space of time, a trusted comrade and friend, who we had so much respect for and had so very much relied on.

Dan was a brave officer, who died doing a very dangerous and complex job. He loved his profession and he knew the risks that he took on a daily basis. Without his expertise in countering the IED threat, all the gains we have made recently would have been impossible.

His death has come as a shock to me, to his IEDD team and all soldiers serving here in the Household Cavalry Battle Group. I and many others had been working closely with Dan over the past few days to clear insurgents out of Musa Qaleh.

He had dealt with many numbers of IEDs, rendering them safe in a calm and professional manner. Dan never showed any fear, just a clear focus on his job and a dedication to duty that few outside the ATO profession can equal.

We will all miss him and I salute a hero and a very brave young man. Our thoughts are with his wife and family at this most difficult time.

Major Tim Gould QGM RLC, Officer Commanding Joint Force EOD Group, said:

Dan was a driven young officer who was motivated by his desire to be an Ammunition Technical Officer, an Improvised Explosive Device Disposal Officer.

“He understood and faced the many challenges involved in undertaking his chosen career path and knew that operating in Afghanistan would be the pinnacle of his professional career in this the most hazardous of fields.

“Dan was very much a soldiers’ officer; he was both loved and adored by his men, he simply understood them well and as such was their greatest champion.

An officer committed to duty, to the soldiers that served alongside him and to the task of saving lives by eradicating the explosive hazard in Helmand.

It is an honour to say that I served alongside a man of such courage, dedication and selfless commitment as Captain Dan Read.

Our hearts are saddened and spirits are dampened by the sad loss of a valued and valiant comrade and yet our resolve in the Task Force is strengthened for the task in hand; we will not allow his death to be in vain.

Captain Gareth Bateman, Royal Engineers, Second-in-Command Joint Force EOD Group, said:

From the first moment I met Dan it was evident that he had an utterly infectious sense of humour. Remarkably he could switch in an instant to give total concentration to the task at hand but the occasional quip or flash of his grin reminded you of the character within.

Soldiers understand what it means to be courageous and Dan epitomised this most incredible quality. Lesser men would have opted for the easy option and stayed at home after being injured but Dan had a task to finish, a team to lead and a battle that he wanted to continue fighting.

Dan gave his life playing his part in trying to rid this country of the indiscriminate threat of IEDs. He was totally selfless to the end. In his memory, and using his sacrifice as our inspiration, we will push on in our task. Our thoughts are with his wife and family as they face this most difficult time.

Warrant Officer Class 1 Sandy Little, Senior Ammunition Technician, Joint Force EOD Group, said:

Although the first time I met Dan was just a little over two years ago it seems as if I have known him for years. He revelled in all the pre-deployment training and in particular returning to Dartmoor, the home of his green beret that he so treasured.

“His drive and enthusiasm was second-to-none, this was demonstrated by the fact he overcame all the hurdles placed in his way to return to theatre after an injury from a contact IED. Dan you will be sorely missed but you will never be forgotten, all our thoughts go to Lou and your family.”

Captain Martin Birch Hansen, Officer Commanding Engineer Detachment, Danish Battle Group, said:

It was with a sad heart that I today realised that another one of our dedicated colleagues had sacrificed his life in our joint struggle against the IED threat. I knew Dan quite well.

He and his Royal Engineer Search Advisor helped pave the road to a fruitful co-operation between the Joint Force EOD Group team and the Danish Battle Group. After his injury, I was not surprised when I was told that Dan had re-entered theatre after his recuperation.

That was him exactly - not choosing the easy way. He had a job to finish. I will always remember his serious approach to the job in front of him and his humorous approach to just about everything else.

The way he would say ‘no dramas’ created an ethos of determination here that has not been forgotten. On behalf of the Danish Engineer Detachment in DABG, I send my compassion and thoughts to Dan’s family, teammates and friends. ‘We will remember them’.

Corporal Dan King, Corporal Andy Stockdale and Private Stephan Cross, IEDD 6, ‘Team Illume’, said:

Captain Dan Read was much more than just our Boss and our Operator, he was our friend. He was always there with a willing ear for us to unload all our problems on and he always managed to turn them into a joke and have us in stitches, forgetting our troubles in minutes.

To come back after his injury was inspiring and though he would never have admitted it, we knew he had fought to come back to make sure we were all right.

Captain Read is one of those men who are truly irreplaceable. He will be missed so much more than any words can say. He will always live on in our hearts.

Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth, said:

I was very sad to hear of the loss of Captain Daniel Read, and my deepest sympathies go out first of all to his family and friends, at what can only be an extremely difficult time for them.

“Hearing about Captain Read, I am filled with admiration for his sense of duty and courage.”