Luke Tamatea

Oh, so now reading Tweets is spying

Look at this tool, he thinks he is being spied on because the NZDF read some of his very public tweets.

Gregory Hussey is wondering if “spooks” are monitoring him on social media after the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) demanded he remove a tweet just 20 minutes after he wrote it.

The Timaru man was working for a private company in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan province at the time and had only eight Twitter followers – two of them journalists.

Hussey said a friend, also in Bamiyan, contacted him on August 19, 2012, to tell him there was a gunfight happening 2km away and “not to go up there to the valley on your motorbike”.

Hussey tweeted : “Poor Kiwis under fire in Bamiyan :-(“.

Just 20 minutes later he was contacted by a member of the NZDF, told to remove the tweet and instructed to attend a meeting immediately at the NZDF base in Bamiyan where he was told he was a “security risk”.

A defence force officer had contacted one of Hussey’s friends in New Zealand, asked for his number and phoned him with instructions to remove the tweet.

“I was told that there would be widespread panic from the families of soldiers back in New Zealand if it got out,” Hussey said.? Read more »

Thanks and Well Done

Our NZDF boys and girls have completed their mission in Bamiyan and are returning home.

Photo: NZDF

Photo: NZDF

The?New Zealand?flag has been lowered for the final time at Kiwibase in Bamiyan marking the official close of the Provincial Reconstruction Team and this country’s 10-year involvement with it.

The?United States?and Malaysian flag, representing other nations in the PRT, were also lowered leaving the Afghan flag flying alone.? Read more »

Gotcha!

Good job. One of the bad bastards responsible for killing our troops just got his sinuses cleared care of the US Airforce. Well done chaps.

A senior Taliban leader thought to be behind a roadside bombing in which three New Zealand soldiers died has reportedly been killed by coalition forces.

Prime Minister John Key today confirmed Abdullah Kalta died in the Afghanistan airstrike.

New Zealand soldiers Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, Private Richard Harris and Corporal Luke Tamatea were killed in August when their Humvee struck an improvised explosive device.

New Zealand personnel were not involved in the attack on Kalta but coalition forces could have used intelligence gathered by New Zealand SAS troops, Mr Key said on TVNZ’s?Breakfast?show.

“We weren’t physically involved but it was almost certainly intelligence that New Zealand people have been gathering over there.

“It was in the northeastern part of Bamiyan province. If that is the case, and that seems to be the information we have, then I think that’s good news if it makes Afghanistan a safer place for our people.”

You kill our guys then we are going to kill you…harder.

Three Heroes

The NZ Herald reports?the full details of?the?three Kiwi troops killed in?Afghanistan:

The names of the New Zealand soldiers killed in Afghanistan overnight have been released during a press conference this morning at the Beehive.

The trio have been named as?Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker?(26),Private Richard Harris?(21) and?Corporal Luke Tamatea?(31).

They deployed with the NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan, Afghanistan in April 2012. All three were from 2nd/1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/1 RNZIR) based in Burnham.

The group were travelling in the last vehicle in a convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device in Bamiyan about 9.20pm local time.

Corporal Tamatea joined the army in February 2000. He had previously been deployed to Timor-Leste, the Solomon Islands and Sumatra.

His first deployment to Afghanistan was in 2007.

Lance Corporal Baker joined the army as a medic and was posted to Burnham Regional Support Company in April 2007.

She received a Chief of Army Commendation in 2011 for professionalism and courage in June 2008.

She is the first female New Zealand soldier to be killed in action since troops were sent to the country, and the first woman to be in killed in conflict since nurse Lesley Estelle Cowper of the New Zealand Surgical Team was killed in Vietnam in 1966.

Private Harris joined the NZ Army in February 2009. He had previously deployed to Timor-Leste in 2009/2010.

Defence Force chief Lieutenant General Rhys Jones said the deaths were difficult to deal with so close to the loss of two other soldiers.