Soldier in Afghanistan dies in accident
Brothers in arms: The contingent is small, so the loss of one man is painful for the soldiers.
TALLINN - In an eerie parallel to recent events that have touched Lithuania, President Toomas Ilves is to decorate Sgt. Maj. Ivar Brok, who was killed while on duty in Afghanistan. Brok will be award the Gold Cross with Swords, a decoration from the Military Order of the Cross of the Eagle.
Whereas the Lithuanian soldier was killed in action, Broks death was accidental.
Brok, who was serving in a support unit in Afghanistan, was loading equipment from the infantry platoon ESTCOY-6 onto a truck when a wheel of a Pasi armored personnel carrier slipped away and rolled on him.
The wheel weighed several hundred kilograms. Brok was badly injured. He received first aid from Estonian doctors and was then taken to the Camp Bastion field hospital. British medics transported him from Camp Bastion to Kandahar, which is higher-level military hospital.
Brok, who was serving in southern Afghanistan Helmand province, died of his injuries on the night before May 24, despite the efforts of medics.
The small Estonian contingent in Afghanistan was in shock at the death of their comrade in arms.
"Losing any comrade is tough on the team; the thoughts of Estonians serving in Afghanistan are with the next of kin of Sgt. Maj. Brok. Nobody is safe from accidents. Ivar Brok was an experienced soldier, he died â€¦.while doing his duty," said Lt. Col. Alo Valdna commanding officer of the Estonian contingent in Afghanistan.
Estonian troops remembered Sgt. Maj. Ivar Brok with a moment of silence at Camp Bastion on May 24. In Helmand, flags of the units were flown at half mast. The Peace Operations Center has informed the family of the victim of the accident. Condolences to the family have also been sent by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo.
Lt. Gen. Ants Laaneots, the commander of the defense forces, ordered the military police division of the General Staff to open a departmental investigation to find out what caused the accident.
This was the second tour of duty Sgt. Maj. Ivar Brok had in Afghanistan. The first round was from May to November 2007 as a member on NSE-3. Then he was awarded with a Badge of Merit for excellent service.
Estonia joined international operations in Afghanistan in 2003. Over the course of the conflict several men have been wounded. Two men, Sgt. Kalle Torn and. Sgt. Jako Karuks, were killed in a missile attack in Helmand province in 2003.
Currently there are around 120 soldiers in the country, most of them serving in Helmand province with soldiers from The United Kingdom.