Wednesday, July 8, 2009
It is with deep sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Captain Ben Babington-Browne from 22 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers, died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Monday 6 July 2009.
The incident took place whilst on takeoff in Zabul province, at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Mescall, on the afternoon of 6 July 2009.
Two Canadian soldiers were also killed in the crash.
Captain Babington-Browne was working in the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) Headquarters of Regional Command (South) and was visiting FOB Mescall as part of an ISAF team to undertake an engineering survey of the Romanian FOB.
Captain Ben Babington-Browne
Captain Ben Babington-Browne was born on 17 October 1981 and grew up in Maidstone. After graduating from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and completing the Royal Engineers Troop Commanders' Course he joined 22 Engineer Regiment in April 2007.
He deployed shortly afterwards to Iraq as a Troop Commander in 5 Armoured Engineer Squadron where he quickly showed that he was an exceptionally gifted leader. It was a demanding tour but he thrived in that environment, earning the respect of all who served with him there.
Once Captain Babington-Browne returned from Iraq, he was selected to run the Regimental Junior Non-Commissioned Officers' Cadre; a testing course which trains and prepares Sappers for promotion to Lance Corporal. As Cadre Officer he was an exemplary model of leadership for the Sappers on the course and in many ways will have influenced those young soldiers for the rest of their careers.
He leaves behind his mother Nina, of Maidstone, as well as his brother Daniel.
Captain Ben Babington-Browne's mother Nina issued the following statement:
"Ben is a much loved son, brother and nephew who had a huge personality and will be so missed by his family and friends who are all heartbroken by his untimely death. One of the brightest stars in the firmament has been lost in the line of a duty which was second only to his love for his family and friends. We are all immensely proud of all his considerable achievements in his short life. God bless and keep him."