Oxfordshire bomb expert killed

One of four British servicemen killed in Afghanistan in the space of 24 hours has been named as a bomb disposal expert based in Oxfordshire.

Staff Sergeant Brett Linley was 29 and serving with 11 the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, based in Didcot.  He died in an explosion while clearing Improvised Explosive Devices in Helmand province on Saturday 17 July 2010.

Lieutenant Colonel David Southall, Commanding Officer of the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Task Force, said: "Staff Sergeant Brett Linley was a man of courage and composure - his loss has shaken us all. He qualified earlier this year as a High Threat IED Operator, motivated by a simple desire to save life and play his part in Afghanistan.

"I will remember his calm, considered manner and, as one of life's grafters, his professionalism was meticulous. 'If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right' he'd tell his boys, both in training and on task.

"Brett faced the IED threat daily, but despite the risk, his heroism was without fuss or fanfare – such quiet and unassuming modesty endeared him to all."

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:  "Despite the very real danger that he faced every day, Staff Sergeant Brett Linley carried out his role with courage, professionalism and composure. It's clear from the tributes to him, that he was a selfless soldier who, without question, would do whatever was needed to protect those around him.

"It was while trying to keep his colleagues and the local Afghan people safe from IEDs that he was tragically killed. His sacrifice will not be forgotten and I offer my sincere condolences to his friends and family."

Staff Sgt Linley was from the same regiment as Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid, who posthumously received the George Cross in March 2010 - one of the military's highest bravery awards - for his work in defusing bombs in Afghanistan.

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