Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2010, Senior Aircraftman Luke Southgate from II Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment was killed in Afghanistan. He was part of the Kandahar Airfield Force Protection Wing and was conducting a patrol to protect Kandahar Airfield when he was killed by an improvised explosive device whilst driving his WMIK Land Rover.
SAC Southgate had joined the RAF in 2008 as a Gunner, and his natural soldiering ability and leadership potential earned him the Frank Sylvester Trophy for Top Student on his Trainee Gunners Course. He then applied for parachute duties and qualified as a Direct Fire Weapons Specialist on Machine Gun Flight. He was attached to D Flight for his tour in Afghanistan and deployed at the beginning of 2010.
Squadron Leader Matt Carter, Officer Commanding II Squadron RAF Regiment, said: Senior Aircraftman Southgate was one of those Gunners that you wish you had more of in the squadron. He was devoted and worked tirelessly for his squadron and more importantly his friends. He never complained about being tired, cold or hungry, but got on with life in the most arduous of circumstances wearing a smile. Passionate about machine guns he loved being part of the Direct Fire Weapons Flight. He found a niche within D Flight amongst a wide network of friends who valued his self-sacrificing attitude to soldiering and life in general. The squadron laments the loss of a brave, amiable Gunner and will endeavour to continue the work that he was so proud to be a part of. “
Luke, from Bury St Edmonds, was 20 years old.