Author Topic: MCpl. Josh Roberts - 2 PPCLI - Sat. Aug. 9 2008  (Read 29378 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Mr.Newf

  • King of the Granite Planet
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 12,335
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,677
  • Fuc*in Eh!
MCpl. Josh Roberts - 2 PPCLI - Sat. Aug. 9 2008
« on: August 09, 2008, 12:28:44 »
LINK


Quote
Canadian soldier dies of firefight injuries
Updated Sat. Aug. 9 2008 12:16 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

A Canadian soldier has died of a gunshot wound suffered in a firefight with Afghan insurgents in the volatile Zhari district.

The soldier was involved in a joint operation designed to disrupt Taliban activity in the farming area west of Kandahar City when the incident occurred.

The military is also investigating the possibility that a private security company passing by in a convoy may have accidentally fired on Canadian soldiers.



Damnit! :'(


RIP Troop :salute: :cdn:


-Deadpan
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 18:41:47 by Bruce Monkhouse »
I am the one and only

Offline Teeps74

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 2,839
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 447
Re: FLASH: Canadian soldier dies of firefight injuries
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2008, 12:31:49 »
RIP soldier.
"... to fight and conquer in all your battles
    is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists
    in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."
- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Offline mr.rhtuner

  • New Member
  • **
  • 590
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 49
Re: FLASH: Canadian soldier dies of firefight injuries
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2008, 12:41:10 »
Sad to hear  :(


So this was from the ambush firefight a few days ago?
How could a PMC shoot the soldier, unless he was aiming for a insurgent and was shooting across from him   :(


RIP

Offline tree hugger

  • Hug a Betula allegeniensis.
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 6,340
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 454
Re: FLASH: Canadian soldier dies of firefight injuries
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2008, 12:41:35 »
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/08/09/soldier-killed.html

The soldier has been identified as Master Cpl. Josh Roberts of the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry based out of Shilo, Man.



So sad.
Always behave like a duck.   Remain cool and unruffled on the surface but paddle like the dickens underneath.

Offline geo

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 26,410
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,648
Re: FLASH: Canadian soldier dies of firefight injuries
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2008, 12:44:59 »
How could a PMC shoot the soldier, unless he was aiming for a insurgent and was shooting across from him   :(
Letting loose at a target (?) in the distance without 1st knowing who is out there is a possibility that comes to mind.
I wouldn't want to speculate this as being a "blue on blue" incident without adequate information but, the fog of war and all ....

Rest in peace
Chimo!

Offline harry8422

    #186.

  • Member
  • ****
  • 3,616
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 110
Re: FLASH: Canadian soldier dies of firefight injuries
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2008, 12:46:13 »
R.I.P
pro patria     R.I.P my fallen brothers and sisters

Offline Mr.Newf

  • King of the Granite Planet
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 12,335
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,677
  • Fuc*in Eh!
Re: FLASH: Canadian soldier dies of firefight injuries
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2008, 13:05:47 »
Here is a picture of MCpl. Roberts.


RIP  :salute:

-Deadpan
« Last Edit: August 09, 2008, 13:34:58 by Deadpan »
I am the one and only

Offline Snafu-Bar

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 6,310
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 319

 My condolences to family and friends.

RIP.

Sgt: Private, why isn't my truck warmed up
Myself: You didn't give me the keys Sgt.
Sgt: good answer private.

Offline Eye In The Sky

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 232,390
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 9,133
  • "crew, set condition Fun, rig for MAD..."
    • VP INTERNATIONAL
Re: FLASH: Canadian soldier dies of firefight injuries
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2008, 13:33:57 »

RIP MCpl Roberts  :cdn:

 :salute:

"What a f$$kin' week!" - me, every Monday at about 1130hrs.

Offline Mr.Newf

  • King of the Granite Planet
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 12,335
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,677
  • Fuc*in Eh!
Seen, fixed.


-Deadpan
I am the one and only

Offline milnews.ca

  • Info Curator, Baker & Food Slut
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Relic
  • *
  • 452,775
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 22,862
    • MILNEWS.ca-Military News for Canadians
Damn....

Condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the fallen.   :salute:
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Offline darylin

  • Guest
  • *
  • 0
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1
RIP MCpl Roberts   :salute:
 :cdn:



Offline Mr.Newf

  • King of the Granite Planet
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 12,335
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,677
  • Fuc*in Eh!
DND News Release


Quote
News Release
Canadian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
CEFCOM NR–08.028 - August 9, 2008

OTTAWA– A Canadian soldier died of his injuries following an engagement involving coalition forces, insurgents and security personnel from a civilian convoy in the Zharey District around 9 a.m. (Kandahar time) today. An investigation is being conducted to determine the details surrounding this incident and further information will be made public as it becomes available.

The fallen soldier is Master Corporal Joshua Brian Roberts of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based in Shilo, Manitoba. First aid was administered to MCpl Roberts immediately following the incident. He was evacuated by helicopter to Kandahar Air Field’s Role 3 Multi-National Medical Facility, but sadly was pronounced dead upon arrival.

All members of Task Force Kandahar are thinking of the family and friends of our fallen comrade during this time of sorrow. The dedication and sacrifice of soldiers like MCpl Roberts are helping to make a difference in the lives of countless Afghan citizens.

We will continue with our mission as we remember the life of MCpl Roberts. We remain committed to improving security and stability in Kandahar Province and working together with local Afghans to achieve peace and prosperity for their country.



 :salute:
-Deadpan
I am the one and only

Offline eechoss

  • Guest
  • *
  • 5
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13
Very Sad news to wake up too. RIP
"Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar"

Offline gate_guard

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 800
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 253
  • I'm your huckleberry
Served with Josh a few years back, always an upbeat guy who looked for the silver lining in every situation...unreal. RIP Josh.

Offline AirCanuck

  • Member
  • ****
  • 940
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 145
  • Tally-ho!
sad to hear.  thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends.
RIP. 
 :cdn: :salute:
For once you have tasted flight, you shall walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you shall long to return.

Offline Rocketryan

  • Member
  • ****
  • 7,314
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 154
RIP MCpl  :salute:  :cdn:

Offline Enfield

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 855
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 438
I served with Josh in Bosnia - great section 2i/c, and an honour to serve with. 

RIP MCpl.   
May You Live in Interesting Times

Offline ark

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 930
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 309
  • \
RIP Soldier

Offline BernDawg

  • Wood Butcher
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 11,695
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 980
  • Retired... workin' harder than ever!
RIP Soldier.
"We can't all be heroes... because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by."  Will Rogers
Someone has to be last.  At least if it's me I know where all the assholes are.

Offline missing1

    .

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Member
  • *
  • 9,325
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 108
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
  :cdn:
We all have two things in common, no matter who we are: We were born and we are going to die.

Mitch Albom

  You are never to old to learn something stupid

I always take life with a grain of salt... plus a slice of lemon... and a shot of tequila.

Offline armoured recce man

  • New Member
  • **
  • 250
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 41
 :salute:

RIP SOLDIER youve done your job
get some.......

Offline stryte

  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • 2,895
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 83
RIP MCpl Roberts.  :salute:

Offline BYT Driver

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 13,785
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,114
Here I thought it was going to be a quiet month. 
 :cdn: My condolences to The Roberts family, his fiancee and unborn child  :'(  and the Regiment.
 :salute: R.I.P. Soldier, stand down  :army:

Offline fiddlehead

  • Member
  • ****
  • 14,040
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 228
Our condolences to his family and  friends.......RIP to M/Cpl Roberts.......... :salute: :cdn:

Offline karl28

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 6,005
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 743
RIP soldier

Offline cameron

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 1,130
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 394
Rest In Peace brave sir and my condolences to family and comrades-in-arms. :cdnsalute:  I hope a thorough enquiry will fully sort out what really happened.
"All men dream: but not equally.  Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."

Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence of Arabia

Offline Nomad933

  • Member
  • ****
  • 5,090
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 194
RIP Master Cpl. Rest easy  :salute:

Offline military granny

    it\'s May 12 and it\'s snowing what the ?

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 1,875
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 394
My sincere condolences to Mcpl. Roberts family and friends. :salute:
Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well
preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally
worn out, shouting..Holy crap!! What a Ride!!"

Offline WarmAndVertical

  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • -30
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 59
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away

"It's bad policy to speculate on what you'll do if a plan fails when you're trying to make a plan work." ...Condi Rice (and me, on the next TEWT I attend!!!)

Offline geo

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 26,410
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,648
Quote
When questioned by Canadian and U.S. military officers, several of the Afghan security guards freely admitted to opening fire on what they thought were Taliban fighters. But when informed that a Canadian soldier had been wounded, their stories began to change, and many never claimed to have fired at all. Some of the security guards blamed the Afghan army for the incident.

After threatening to arrest the whole lot for lying, in the end there was little that the Canadian and American officers could do, except take the names and mobile phone numbers of the Afghans in charge of the convoy and the names of the suspected shooters. Frederickson said that an investigation by Canadian military police would probably occur.

Twelve members of the Compass security convoy were also found to be wearing Afghan police uniforms, which Afghan police confiscated, along with three Soviet-made 82 mm recoilless rifles, said Maj. Kevin Reilly, team chief for a group of U.S. advisers that trains and mentors the Afghan police in Maiwand district.


Sigh, the fog of war strikes again.
Adeqately trained security forces is supposed to reduce this kind of risk - silly me.



« Last Edit: August 12, 2008, 07:43:08 by geo »
Chimo!

Offline TacticalW

  • Iceman = Ninja
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • 1,820
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 92
RIP MCpl Roberts  :salute:

Offline Bruce Monkhouse

    Is a pinball wizard.

  • Lab Experiment #13
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 266,375
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 15,195
  • WHERE IS MY BATON?
    • http://www.canadianbands.com./home.html
Re: FLASH: MCpl. Josh Roberts dies of firefight injuries..Sat. Aug. 9 2008
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2008, 18:41:14 »
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080913/josh_roberts_080913/20080913?hub=TopStories
Canadian soldier killed by insurgents, not friendly fire
Updated Sat. Sep. 13 2008 2:32 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Military investigators say Saskatchewan-born Cpl. Josh Roberts died in Afghanistan from insurgent fire, not by stray bullets fired from a passing convoy of private security personnel.
Roberts died Aug. 9 during an operation in the turbulent Zhari district, a farming area west of Kandahar City.

"Based on the physical evidence, witness interviews and analysis by the Military Police investigators, the investigation concluded that his death was inflicted by the insurgents," the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) said in a press release Saturday.
There was speculation that Afghan security personnel passing through the area may have also engaged the insurgents, prompting CFNIS to investigate whether Roberts had died from friendly fire.

During the fatal firefight, about 15 Taliban gunmen attacked a group of Canadian and Afghan soldiers, who then returned fire.
The Canadian troops had been out on a morning mentoring operation with Afghan soldiers when gunfire and blasts from rocket propelled grenades rained down on the area.

The Canadians, some of whom were travelling in armoured vehicles, fought back and also called in artillery fire.
Sometime during the confusing skirmish, the Canadian troops also sustained fire from the north, and there was fear they had become disorientated and lost the position of one of their groups.

One theory is that the private security force, which was travelling west with a convoy of civilians and did not notice the Canadians, opened fire after seeing the gun battle.
Last month, Maj. Bob Ritchie, taskforce commander for Zhari District, said it's common for private security contractors to fight with insurgents in the notoriously violent region.

There are at least two firms heavily active in the area: USPI and Compass Integrated Security Solutions.
"Security personnel from a private security firm, Compass Integrated Security Solutions, not employed by the Department of National Defence, were present in the area at the time of the incident, but the investigation concluded that they were not responsible for Master Corporal Roberts' death," said CFNIS.

CFNIS is an independent unit within the Military Police, and has a mandate to "investigate serious and sensitive matters" connected to Canadian Forces personnel serving in Canada and abroad.
Roberts belonged to 2nd Battalion, the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry based in Shilo, Man. His fiancée was expecting a child.
IF YOU REALLY ENJOY THIS SITE AND WISH TO CONTINUE,THEN PLEASE WIGGLE UP TO THE BAR AND BUY A SUBSCRIPTION OR SOME SWAG FROM THE MILNET.CA STORE OR IF YOU WISH TO ADVERTISE PLEASE SEND MIKE SOME DETAILS.

Everybody has a game plan until they get punched in the mouth.

Offline wildman0101

  • Scoty Brandt
  • Fallen Comrade
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • 21,517
  • Posts: 522
  • bold and swift
Re: MCpl. Josh Roberts dies of firefight injuries..Sat. Aug. 9 2008
« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2008, 21:33:52 »
Rest in Peace MCpl. Roberts  :salute:
You will not be forgotton  :cdn
Condolences to family,,Friends,, and Comrades...  :army:
                                    Scoty B
scoty b (aka the brat)
so my sister say's
she would know as she
pointed out ,,,, quote
my lil brother is one bad "mo-fo"
dont f*** with him you'll just get hurt.

Offline NFLD Sapper

  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 291,156
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 9,161
  • Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant
Re: MCpl. Josh Roberts dies of firefight injuries..Sat. Aug. 9 2008
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2008, 08:08:44 »
News Release
Investigation into soldier’s death concluded
NR 08.071 - September 13, 2008

OTTAWA – Following an investigation into the death of Master Corporal Joshua Brian Roberts of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, the Canadian Forces Military Police, specifically the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS), has concluded that his death was the result of insurgent fire.

On August 9, 2008, during the course of an engagement involving coalition forces and insurgents in the Zhari District of Afghanistan, Master Corporal Roberts suffered injuries and was pronounced dead after being evacuated to Kandahar Air Field’s Multi-National Medical Facility. Based on the physical evidence, witness interviews and analysis by the Military Police investigators, the investigation concluded that his death was inflicted by the insurgents. Security personnel from a private security firm, Compass Integrated Security Solutions, not employed by the Department of National Defence, were present in the area at the time of the incident, but the investigation concluded that they were not responsible for Master Corporal Roberts’ death.

The CFNIS is an independent Military Police unit with a mandate to investigate serious and sensitive matters in relation to National Defence property, Departmental employees and Canadian Forces personnel serving in Canada and abroad.

- 30 -

Media Contact:
Captain Paule Poulin
Public Affairs Officer
Canadian Forces Provost Marshal
613-949-1022

CHIMO!
First in, Last out
Sappers Lead the Way

Just tell your wife she owes your life to some Muddy Old Engineer,
Some dusty, crusty, croaking, joking Muddy Old Engineer

Offline geo

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 26,410
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,648
Re: MCpl. Josh Roberts - 2 PPCLI - Sat. Aug. 9 2008
« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2008, 12:14:44 »
Sigh..... when families of the fallen want closure.... Why did the CLS (apparently) come out & declare to the family, during repatriation ceremony, that the MCpl was the victim of Blue on Blue hired guns.  What was the point of making any ASSumptions at all ???

Once one or several variations are said out loud, the family.... which have become information "sponges" gathering & grasping everything heard... the family will rightly (or wrongly) arrive at the conclusion that there is a coverup - that something is being kept from them..... 

I expect the family will be swinging away at DND and the CF for an awful long time.
Chimo!

Offline Haggis

  • "There ain't no hat badge on a helmet!"
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 71,125
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,904
  • "Oh, what a glorious sight, Warm-reekin, rich!"
Re: MCpl. Josh Roberts - 2 PPCLI - Sat. Aug. 9 2008
« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2008, 12:33:54 »
Once one or several variations are said out loud, the family.... which have become information "sponges" gathering & grasping everything heard... the family will rightly (or wrongly) arrive at the conclusion that there is a coverup - that something is being kept from them..... 

I expect the family will be swinging away at DND and the CF for an awful long time.

With the help of the MSM, certainly.
Train like your life depends on it.  Some day, it may.

Offline Hamish Seggie

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 238,232
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,688
  • This is my son Michael, KIA Afghanistan 3 Sep 08
Re: MCpl. Josh Roberts - 2 PPCLI - Sat. Aug. 9 2008
« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2008, 11:43:16 »
"While I can understand a family's need for closure, what I find difficult to understand is why they want to know who shot their son.  Does it make that much of a difference?  Most people would not even understand half of what was written on an autopsy, and ultimately, it's still not going to tell them who actually killed their son."

You are right, BUT as a father of a fallen I want to know, and we have that right to know. The parents of Josh want to know the truth.
Freedom Isn't Free   "Never Shall I Fail My Brothers"

“Do everything that is necessary and nothing that is not".

Offline Tipperary

  • rootin' tootin'
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • 690
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 81
Re: MCpl. Josh Roberts - 2 PPCLI - Sat. Aug. 9 2008
« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2008, 18:33:19 »
http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/saskatchewan/Remembering+Roberts+death+Taliban+Road/1098663/story.html

Pte. Eddy Staudinger sat an elbow's reach from where Master Cpl. Josh Roberts stood in the turret of their LAV III when the Afghan farmland around them was hit by a storm of rifle fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

Five minutes later, Staudinger heard Roberts, whose head and shoulders were exposed out the top of the turret, take a bullet and saw the crew commander's body go limp.

The circumstances of the Saskatchewan soldier's Aug. 9 death remain mysterious more than four months later. A military investigation publicly concluded Roberts, 29, was killed by Taliban, not guards working for a private security firm that wandered into the firefight. But the speed of the investigation and conflicting reports from the military leave his family with suspicions about who pulled the trigger.

From Staudinger's limited, but front-line perspective, Taliban fire ended Roberts's life.

"Absolutely (it) was," said Staudinger, a fresh-cheeked 21-year-old soldier, in his hometown, 20 kilometres west of Edmonton. "Because where we were taking fire from was in this ring here," he said, sweeping a pen over a sketched map to indicate the northeast to west position. "He was hit from the west."

Staudinger, a member of 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry on leave from CFB Shilo, Man., for the holidays, said he had no firsthand knowledge of where Compass Security was positioned.

But based on his discussions with soldiers later that day, he believed Compass was to the northeast on a highway that ran perpendicular to the platoon's position along Taliban Road, from Kandahar City to Helmand province. Some soldiers have told Staudinger that Compass was too far away to be in firing range.

"It's frustrating that the other accounts are out there because we know it's not right," Staudinger said. "There was never any doubt about it being the Compass Security or the insurgents (who killed Roberts). Never."

Staudinger believes there were insurgents in the trees and huts between the platoon and the Compass position.

"It's just mixed up as far as where exactly firing was coming from that day."

Staudinger's account doesn't convince Beth and Gene Figley of Dalmeny, Roberts's mother and stepfather. They have heard more than half a dozen conflicting stories about how Roberts died, from top brass like army commander Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie to soldiers like Staudinger.

A quick investigation by the military police National Investigation Service concluded insurgent fire killed Roberts, but the military has refused to release that investigation and Roberts's autopsy report to the Figleys. At the time of the incident, the U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported Roberts had died after the security firm fired "indiscriminately" when they stumbled into the firefight.

"I want the truth," Beth Figley said. "I don't think that's unrealistic."

Another soldier in the firefight privately gave Figley a vastly different account than Staudinger's. He told her last month that the Compass convoy was advancing south on the platoon, launching rocket-propelled grenades and firing AK-47 assault rifles.

Staudinger was closest to Roberts when he died, but in the chaos of the firefight, admits he wasn't aware of all the circumstances around him. His field of vision was limited to the view through his sights, which give a binocular-type view of the scene.

Figley listened to an abbreviated version of Staudinger's account around Remembrance Day, when he and six other soldiers visited her and her husband,. The soldiers couldn't agree on details of the firefight without coaching from their warrant officer, she said.

"I have a lot of questions about this because none of the stories make sense," said Beth Figley. "I just need to find out what happened to Josh. I'm not saying these guys are lying, but their perspective was so myopic."

For Staudinger, the day he lost his commander and friend is burned "pretty vivid" into his memory even if some details, he admits, were lost in the fog of war.

- - -

Around 9 a.m. that Saturday, the sky was clear and the heat already rising quickly. The mood was light when Nine Platoon of Charlie Company, patrolling in Zhari District west of Kandahar, pulled into the Spin Pir Afghan police substation. Roberts and Staudinger, having watched Black Hawk Down the night before, talked about watching another movie that night in their tent. Anything to pass the downtime. Roberts was to return home in weeks and counted the days to becoming a father and reuniting with his fiancee.

The LAV Roberts commanded turned off the main highway onto a dirt road infamously nicknamed Taliban Road with himself, Staudinger, a driver and one air sentry inside. Other soldiers walked in a spread-out pattern around the LAV as Afghan National Army or police -- Staudinger isn't sure which -- checked the mud-hut compounds along the road. Another LAV took a position north of Roberts's LAV.

"We were just doing regular patrol," Staudinger said. "Well, as regular as it gets anyway."

Trouble wasn't unexpected on Taliban Road and the enemy's presence soon became obvious. Terrified Afghan women, children and old men streamed past the two LAVs, running in the opposite direction. Staudinger tensed for a fight. He spotted an Afghan in front of the LAV carrying a rifle -- a friendly National Army or police officer, it turned out -- and breathlessly alerted Roberts. "He said, 'calm down, he's one of ours.' "

Then it started for real.

"We started getting shot at within seconds," he said. "It seemed to be coming from all directions."

Staudinger quickly corrects himself. Firing came in an arc from positions sweeping from the northeast to the west, not every direction, he said.

Staudinger and Roberts had been in firefights before, but none against this many insurgents -- one estimate is 30 Taliban -- and this intense an ambush.

Fire from AK-47 assault rifles shredded trees. Bullets pinged off the LAVs. Rocket-propelled grenades cut through the din of war, but didn't hit Roberts's LAV. Staudinger could see smoke through his sights where insurgents were firing.

"You're getting shot at and you have to respond. But things happen too fast. Adrenalin kicks in, and your training especially. That's what carries you through."

With soldiers in front of the LAV, Staudinger couldn't return fire through his 25-millimetre cannon and machine-gun. Roberts, exposed on top of the LAV, shouted directions to Staudinger through their intercom. His last action was shouting an enemy position to a soldier on the ground south of him, Staudinger said.

That's when Staudinger says he heard Roberts being hit up top and saw his body go limp beside him.

"In the past, I've heard bullets go over the turret. I knew exactly what that sound was," Staudinger said. "I heard it again, but this time it was different. I knew it wasn't just bullets passing over top . . .

"At that moment, I was scared. More scared than I had ever been."

Staudinger and another soldier pulled Roberts down and moved him into the back of the LAV. Staudinger was convinced Roberts was dead, until he caught of glimpse of him in the light, eyes open. Another soldier performed first aid.

Blood was running down the right side of Roberts's face, Staudinger said, confirming for him that his commander was hit in the head.

The first account the Figleys got of Roberts's death, from Leslie at a repatriation ceremony at CFB Trenton in August, was that he had been shot in the neck. That detail was repeated to the Figleys by Maj. Dan Dandurand, commander of the National Investigation Service's western region, in a meeting later the same month.

"I don't know where neck came from," Staudinger said. "When we called it in over the radio it was head."

For details of the firefight he couldn't see through his sights, Staudinger said he has filled in the gaps by talking with other soldiers who were outside the LAV. One says he was south of the armoured vehicle, receiving instructions from Roberts when the commander was hit.

But Beth Figley says details like that keep changing. In her second conversation with Leslie during which she says he contradicted his earlier account and said insurgents, not Compass, had killed Roberts, he reported that the soldier was on the LAV's east side, she said.

After Roberts was hit, Staudinger took command of the LAV and directed it backward down narrow Taliban Road until there was room to turn around. The LAV crew drove about 150 metres to pick up the medic. Staudinger took about a minute, while the medic climbed in, to fire the LAV's machine gun into the treeline to the east, where someone was already engaged with the second LAV.

The LAV then rushed Roberts back to the police substation while the rest of the platoon continued the battle, before continuing to Forward Operating Base Wilson. A helicopter took Roberts to the hospital at Kandahar Air Field, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Staudinger's account rings true with Beth Figley on one point. She said she couldn't believe it when an NIS officer suggested to her in August that Roberts may have been partly responsible for his death.

Staudinger doesn't believe Roberts erred either.

"No. Absolutely not," he said, with a note of fierceness. "The No. 1 thing a crew commander has to do, especially in a firefight, is be up top to command. And he was doing more than that. He was pointing the enemy position out to the soldiers in front of us."

A week ago, the Ottawa Citizen quoted Leslie promising the family a severed copy of the NIS report "over the next few days."

The family is still waiting.

"If I had to choose a scenario, I would choose that Josh died fighting insurgents instead of being shot in the head by an undertrained security force," Beth Figley said, through tears. "Because if that's what happened, he died for nothing.

"No one will step up and tell us the truth. (No one) will show us."

- - -

Roberts's death, weeks before the end of 2PPCLI's six-month tour, devastated his platoon. None of its soldiers had even been injured in combat before.

"It was pretty hard," Staudinger said. "One of the things he talked about most was getting home to see his fiancee (Lise Malenfant) and his unborn son (Meyer).

So tight was Roberts with his fellow soldiers that he asked their input in picking a middle name for Meyer (they picked Gabriel).

Staudinger remembers Roberts as fun-loving, but fiercely loyal to his crew. The same man who spiced up monotonous maintenance work by comicly tucking up his shirt to expose his belly also argued with his superiors on behalf of his men. Once, he fought for them to get fresher rations than the 2005-06 vintage they were supplied with.

Staudinger knew Roberts for two years, but got to know him a lot better when the elder man was moved into his section, shortly before 2nd Battalion deployed for Kandahar in February. Through more firefights than Staudinger bothered to count, the two soldiers were no more than a foot apart in the cramped turret for up to 20 hours at a time.

"By that time, we were a really good team together. I wouldn't say (he was) fearless, but he dealt with whatever fears he had with bravery."

Staudinger is preparing to leave the military in March. He found his attraction to the soldier's life waning during his tour, even before Roberts's death.

"I was less enthusiastic to do something that took such a toll on a person. I was stressed with everything going on."

He plans to apply to the Edmonton Police Service, a career Roberts had also been considering. Next summer, Staudiner will marry his fiancee, Jessica Lenz, who waited nervously for him during his six-month stint in Afghanistan.

While Staudinger is a happy-go-lucky sort, he wears his emotional scars on his sleeve, and his skin. Two black rubber bracelets ring his left wrist, commemorating two other friends who died in combat during his tour, Pte. Terry Street (April 4) and Pte. Chad Horn (Sept. 3).

"It's hard to deal with," he said. "But slowly I've been getting it out with the support of friends and family."

His upper left arm is tattooed with a helmet hanging on a cross and the inscription, Only God can judge me. His right calf is inked with a wooden cross amid maple leaves.

Now Staudinger is gathering first-person stories of soldiers, including his own, for a book he'd like to publish.

"There are too many stories out there that are too tremendous to fade," he said.

rnickel@sp.canwest.com

© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix
The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle..

Offline geo

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 26,410
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,648
Re: MCpl. Josh Roberts - 2 PPCLI - Sat. Aug. 9 2008
« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2008, 19:32:58 »
FWIW, I do not think that there will ever be one explanation that will coincide with all eyewitness accounts.
The fog of war is just that... FOG... everyone is concentrating on what is going on within their own arc of fire & what is going on with the members of their team - to the left & to the right.

Rest in peace MCpl Josh Roberts
Chimo!

Offline Bruce Monkhouse

    Is a pinball wizard.

  • Lab Experiment #13
  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 266,375
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 15,195
  • WHERE IS MY BATON?
    • http://www.canadianbands.com./home.html
Re: MCpl. Josh Roberts - 2 PPCLI - Sat. Aug. 9 2008
« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2009, 08:58:10 »
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2009/02/22/8483476-sun.html
Family seeks answers at military meeting

By RENATO GANDIA, SUN MEDIA

The Calgary Sun     

Beth Figley, the mother of a Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan, is searching for the truth behind her son's death and she may find the answer on Wednesday.

Following media reports, including one by the Sun's Michael Platt last week, officials with the National Investigation Service are meeting with the family of Master Cpl. Josh Roberts, 29, killed in a battle last August near Kandahar City.

"I'm hoping that we will be able to reopen the investigation," said Figley in a telephone interview from Dalmeny, Sask., near Saskatoon.
The soldier's father, Calgary resident Brian Roberts, will be at Wednesday's meeting with NIS Major John Kirschner, as well as a warrant officer.

"Hopefully we'll find out what we're looking for," said the older Roberts.
"I hope this meeting is going to clarify everything and this should be the end of it."
Grieving family members of the soldier have been pushed into a whirlwind of doubt when they were told what they say were conflicting reports by military officials.

Roberts was shot by an Afghan insurgent, said a report from the Department of National Defence.
Before the report became public, Figley was told by military top brass that her son was involved in a firefight and was killed by Compass Security, one of the Afghan-run companies used to guard construction sites.

Then, the family got a hold of a news video recorded just after the Aug. 11 battle.

It shows Canadian and U.S. soldiers interrogating the heavily-armed security contingent, with one frustrated American sergeant saying they can't get a straight answer from the evasive guards.
Later on, Roberts' family received an unsolicited call from one of his comrades saying the shooting was recorded on helmet-mounted cameras but the footage was erased because it was too gruesome.

Figley said she's also still waiting to receive an autopsy report. She added the process unnecessarily subjects families of soldiers to Access to Information red tape.
 
IF YOU REALLY ENJOY THIS SITE AND WISH TO CONTINUE,THEN PLEASE WIGGLE UP TO THE BAR AND BUY A SUBSCRIPTION OR SOME SWAG FROM THE MILNET.CA STORE OR IF YOU WISH TO ADVERTISE PLEASE SEND MIKE SOME DETAILS.

Everybody has a game plan until they get punched in the mouth.

Offline geo

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 26,410
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,648
Re: MCpl. Josh Roberts - 2 PPCLI - Sat. Aug. 9 2008
« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2009, 11:05:21 »
Quote
"I'm hoping that we will be able to reopen the investigation,"
"Hopefully we'll find out what we're looking for,"
"I hope this meeting is going to clarify everything and this should be the end of it."


While I would truly hope that this meeting will provide closure.... it won't.

MCpl Roberts was killed during a firefight with insurgents.
He died at his position - maning his weapon & doing what had to be done.
There was lots of lead flying in every direction that day & there are as many opinions of what happened as there were troops on the ground.

I am confident that neither CF or ANA troops were responsible for his death... however, beyond that, who knows ? I believe it is better to presume that it was TB insurgents at the other end of the bullet VS a CF comrade who suffered a negligent discharge.

Rest in peace Josh!
Chimo!

Offline Tipperary

  • rootin' tootin'
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • 690
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 81
Re: MCpl. Josh Roberts - 2 PPCLI - Sat. Aug. 9 2008
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2009, 09:47:42 »
I know for fact Josh WAS killed by insurgents. I could go into further detail, but my last post in this thread does a decent job of explaining it. I'm sick of this "debate" and controversy over events. All of it stems from people who weren't there, and had no idea what happened, and came up with their own version of events. There's controversy about how short the NIS investigation was... Maybe their investigation was pretty simple, and that's why it didn't take long?

Also, about the article in Bruce's post mentioning the video. I don't think anyone would have done any different.
The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle..