It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Corporal Kevin Mulligan, Lance Corporal Dale Thomas Hopkins and Private Kyle Adams were killed in Afghanistan on Thursday 6 August 2009.
The three soldiers, all from The Parachute Regiment, were killed while undertaking a routine security patrol alongside Afghan National Security Forces to the north of Lashkar Gah when the Jackal vehicle they were travelling in was hit by an explosion, followed by a small arms fire attack.
Corporal Kevin Mulligan
Corporal Mulligan was aged 26. His family paid the following tribute:
Kevin was the light and love in all our lives and he will always be close in our hearts.
The Commanding Officer said:
Corporal Kevin Mulligan was the epitome of a professional soldier; diligent, selfless, caring, with a profound sense of duty. A charismatic man with an irrepressible sense of humour, he was overwhelmingly popular and universally respected. An exceptional leader, he died how he led his life, at the forefront of his men.
He gave his life for his comrades and for The Parachute Regiment, both of which were dear to him. We count ourselves privileged to have known this dedicated, brave soldier and every member of the unit is proud and deeply honoured to have served alongside him. Our feelings are perhaps best encapsulated through the words of one of the private soldiers under Kevin’s command, who said quite simply that ‘Corporal Mulligan was everything I aspire to become’.
Our thoughts are with his family, his fiancee, and his unborn child at this incredibly difficult time. In the midst of their profound loss we hope that they can draw strength from the same fond memories we all share.
Lance Corporal Dale Thomas Hopkins
Lance Corporal Hopkins was aged 23. His family paid the following tribute:
Dale was a loving son and brother. He was a determined, energetic man who loved life. We are so very proud of him and all that he achieved.
We are all devastated that such a wonderful and popular person is now missing from our lives. Dale will be sadly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.
The Commanding Officer said:
Dale was an immensely proud, forthright and honest man who took an abiding joy in soldiering. An outstanding and utterly professional paratrooper, he readily embraced the self-sacrifice, responsibility and dedication required of his profession. He died doing the job he so loved, alongside the comrades that meant so much to him.
He gave his life for his fellow comrades and for The Parachute Regiment. We are privileged to have counted such a brave, upright and professional soldier as one of our own, and every man in the unit is proud and honoured to have served with him.
At this difficult time we think about Dale’s family, to whom he was so dedicated. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them and we hope that they can draw strength, as we do, from fond memories of an exceptional young man.
Private Kyle Adams
Private Adams was aged 21. His family said:
Before his deployment Private Adams said to his father, ‘Dad, I’m not a soldier. I’m a Para’.
His father paid the following tribute:
He was a loving: Son, Brother, Uncle, Nephew, Grandson, and Boyfriend. He was the life and soul of any party. He has left a big hole and he will be sorely missed.
The Commanding Officer said;
Private Kyle Adams was an undemonstrative, yet utterly professional soldier. Always ready for the next challenge, he was a real team player, and indeed was a talented sportsman.
The focus, selflessness and responsibility required of his profession came naturally to him. He died doing the work he loved, alongside the comrades who held him in such high regard.
He gave his life for his fellow comrades and The Parachute Regiment. We who served with him are privileged and honoured to have known such a brave, committed and enthusiastic young soldier.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kyle’s family at this incredibly difficult time. We hope that the fond memories of an inspiring young man can in some way help them, as they do us.
Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said:
I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Cpl Kevin Mulligan, LCpl Dale Hopkins and Pte Kyle Adams, all of The Parachute Regiment, whilst on patrol north of Lashkar Gah. These men were highly gifted individuals at the forefront of their profession and their loss is a heavy blow.
They were working alongside Afghan Security Forces when they made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of a brighter future for the Afghan people. I continue to be inspired by the incredible professionalism, bravery and commitment of our Armed Forces. As a nation, we are exceptionally lucky to have them.
My thoughts and heartfelt sympathy are with the family, friends and colleagues of these three men. This is an extremely difficult time, but I have no doubt that our forces’ resolve to succeed in their vital work in Afghanistan will remain undiminished.