Operations in Afghanistan

Captain Daniel Shepherd killed in Afghanistan

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Captain Daniel Shepherd from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, was killed in Afghanistan on Monday 20 July 2009.

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

Captain Shepherd was serving with the Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group when he died following an explosion in Nad-e-Ali District in Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan.

At the time of his death, Captain Shepherd was commanding an Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) team within the Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Group who were dealing with a confirmed IED.

Working in concert with a Royal Engineers Search Team, their task was to clear a route in order to ensure that an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) resupply convoy and the local Afghan population were able to move freely through a particularly area.

Another member of his team suffered minor injuries in the incident.

Captain Daniel Shepherd

Captain Shepherd aged 28, was married and came from Lincoln. Following a degree in Electrical Engineering, he joined the Royal Logistic Corps on Commissioning from Sandhurst in August 2003.

He subsequently attended specialist logistic training before, as a junior officer, joining 8 Transport Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, with whom he served in Iraq in 2004.

In 2007 he attended and passed Ammunition Technical Officer training before being posted to 11 EOD Regiment RLC as a Troop Commander and Joint Service IED Disposal Operator with Northolt Troop, 621 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron, providing bomb disposal support in the Greater London area.

In December 2008 he joined the select group of our very best Bomb Disposal operators by attending and passing the IEDD No1 (High Threat) course.

In Afghanistan, Captain Shepherd commanded an IED Disposal Team within the Joint Force EOD Group. His role was to conduct IED Disposal operations, clearing the way to make routes safe for ISAF and the Afghan people, during the course of his tour he had already dealt with over 50 devices and he died whilst deployed in support of Operation PANCHAI PALANG.

He was at his very best on operations and excelled in the demanding operational environment of Southern Afghanistan. Such was his talent and operational experience that he was shortly to take up a high profile appointment, focused on countering the threat from IEDs in Afghanistan, at the Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood.

Captain Shepherd leaves behind his wife, Kerry, his devoted parents David and Judith and his brother Paul.

Capt Shepherd’s wife, Kerry, said:

He was doing what he loved. I was so proud of him. I have not lost just a husband but a best friend and he will be missed by everyone.

The family of Capt Shepherd said:

Daniel loved the Army and after the Army Cadets, joined the Army in 1998 at Welbeck Military College before completing an Electrical Engineering Degree at Shrivenham. He Commissioned from Sandhurst into the Royal Logistics Corps in August 2003 to begin a full and enjoyable career, seeing active service in Iraq in 2004 before deploying to Afghanistan in April 2009.

Daniel loved being active and excelled at both skiing and climbing and represented the Army in numerous competitions in both.

Daniel married Kerry in July 2007 and lived together in London with their beloved dog Missy while working at RAF Northolt.

We are very proud of our youngest son and husband, he lived his life to the full. Daniel worked hard to achieve all he set out to do in both his life and his military career. He has left a huge void in our lives and family and will be sadly missed and forever in our thoughts and hearts.

He leaves behind his loving wife Kerry, his devoted parents David and Judith and his older brother Paul with whom he had a tremendous bond as he did with his sister-in-law Amy and his nephews Mackenzie and Logan.

Lieutenant Colonel Roger Lewis, Joint Force Engineer, Task Force Helmand, and Commanding Officer of the Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group said:

Captain Dan Shepherd was an extraordinary officer; composed, compassionate, utterly charming and imbued with a single-minded determination to put others before himself.

He was incredibly courageous yet immensely modest about his own stunning achievements. A consummate and technically gifted Ammunition Technical Officer, Dan understood fully the dangerous nature of his job yet every day was the first to put his own life on the line.

To have the honour to serve alongside him was a humbling experience; he was an inspiration to all.

Dan lived each and every moment of his life at a frenetic pace and whether through his climbing, his family or his work he invested his energy completed.

As a consequence his soldiers adored him and he reciprocated their loyalty tenfold. The only thing that could steal him away from them was his devotion to his wife, Kerry, and his wider family. My thoughts and prayers are with them at this most awful time.

Lieutenant Colonel Gareth Bex, Commanding Officer 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, said:

The Regiment has been shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Captain Dan Shepherd. Dan was a very popular member of 11 EOD Regiment RLC. I first met him in 2004 when serving together on Operation TELIC 4 in Iraq as part of 8 Regiment RLC, where I was impressed with his boundless energy, enthusiasm and courage. Dan always led from the front and I know his soldiers would have followed him anywhere.

Since joining 11 EOD Regiment in 2007, Dan has been totally committed to Explosive Ordnance Disposal and was determined to qualify as a High Threat Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) operator at the first opportunity.

Dan was always at his best on operations; he was the ultimate professional and very much, a soldier’s soldier. With a calm and confident air that belied his age, Dan was the man you would want with you in a difficult situation. In some small way it is a comfort knowing that he died doing the job he loved and for which he was highly respected.

Dan was extremely proud of being an Ammunition Technical Officer (ATO). He took a quiet satisfaction in knowing that, as a High Threat bomb disposal operator, his work was directly contributing to making Afghanistan a safer and better place, both for the Afghans and his Army comrades.

A charming and instantly likeable young man, Dan lived life to the full. He was passionate about the outdoors and a talented rock climber. His cheerful and upbeat approach, natural modesty and outright professionalism were an inspiration to all of us.

The Regiment and his colleagues serving alongside him in Afghanistan have been deeply shocked by his death but we will continue, however, to press on with the essential task being undertaken in Helmand because that is what Dan would have expected of us.

Dan was a wonderful man and he will live on in the memory of the Regiment. Dan’s death is a tragic loss to the Regiment and ATO community who are a tight knit family but it is nothing compared to the loss suffered by his wife Kerry and Dan’s family and my heartfelt condolences go out to them at this time.

Major Eldon Millar, Officer Commanding the Joint Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, said:

Captain Dan Shepherd was a man of extraordinary talent; robust, determined and unbelievably courageous. His relaxed, amiable and honest character made him one of the most popular and respected men in our very tight knit Group.

His boundless energy, love of the outdoors, devotion to his family and pride in the City of Lincoln were the hallmarks of a remarkably self assured man. He was devoted to his team all of whom adored him for both his professional ability and generosity of spirit.

On task he was the epitome of cool; calm and collected he was utterly unflappable a trait which inspired enormous confidence in all who served alongside him.

He was killed as he lived his life; in the thick of the action, leading his team from the front and determined to ensure that his professional skills were able to save the lives of others.

His death has come as an extremely heavy blow to the Joint Force EOD Group - quite simply he was one of our best and I am personally devastated to have lost another fine man in the prime of his life. It is with the deepest sympathy that we extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences to his wife Kerry, their family and wide circle of friends at this unimaginably dreadful time.

My prayer is that they may take some comfort in his extraordinary contribution to saving the lives of many others through his immense courage and skill and the considerable benefit which all of us, who had the privilege of knowing and serving alongside him, have derived.

Dan was, to put it simply, the best boss that I have had the privilege of working for; funny, approachable, friendly and caring. Corporal Lee Davies

We will not forget him and now, once again, will turn our focus to our task of driving forward the vital work that he died conducting; he would not want us to do anything less.

Capt Wayne Owers RLC, Ammunition Technical Officer, Joint Force EOD Group, said:

I have known Dan since he qualified as an Ammunition Technical Officer. We trained for this tour together and deployed at the same time. We regularly chatted over EFI coffee about the challenges of operating in Helmand, and also of our loved ones back in the UK.

Dan was a consummate perfectionist in all that he was involved in. His death is a savage blow to the ammunition trade.

My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. Rest in peace buddy; hope to meet with you again someday.

Staff Sergeant Chris Oldfield RE, Royal Engineer Search Advisor, Joint Force EOD Group said:

During Op HERRICK 10 I had the privilege of working, living and laughing with Capt Dan Shepherd. During what could be classed as a short period of time I made a friend who neither I nor my team will ever forget.

Dan was a brave, selfless commander of men who I class to be amongst the best I have ever worked for. I consider the brief time I spent with him as extremely valuable and thank him for the times he had helped me, especially at my lowest. Rest in Peace Dan, my thoughts are with your wife and family grieving for your loss.

Sergeant Gaz Reynolds RE, Royal Engineer Search Advisor, Joint Force EOD Group said:

I only recently got to know Dan Shepherd, and it was to my benefit to have done so. One of the most genuine and friendly men I have had the honour of calling a friend. I worked intensively with him for the last two weeks, and found out that not only is he an amazing ATO, but also an outstanding scrabble player (mainly due to the fact he was playing with the likes of me) and he used his intelligence to make up words and convince us that they were real. We will never forget him, my and my teams thoughts are with his family.

Corporal Lee Davies RLC - High Threat No2 for Improvised Explosive Device Disposal Team Four said:

Upon arriving in theatre I was welcomed into the team which had already been on the ground for three weeks. Dan was, to put it simply, the best boss that I have had the privilege of working for; funny, approachable, friendly and caring.

The team was a close knit family and Dan was a respected colleague and a good friend. He talked of his wife and family often and clearly thought the world of them. My thoughts are with his family; Dan’s death is a tragic loss to all who knew him.

Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth, said:

The loss of Captain Daniel Shepherd is deeply saddening. He was a highly professional and popular Ammunition Technical Officer who commanded much respect within his unit and amongst his soldiers.

Captain’s Shepherd’s death has left a massive void in the lives of his family, friends and colleagues, my deepest thoughts are with them at this time.