Saturday, October 24, 2009
It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Corporal James Oakland of the Royal Military Police was killed in Afghanistan yesterday, Thursday 22 October 2009.
Corporal Oakland died after being mortally wounded by an improvised explosive device on a foot patrol in the Gereshk region of Helmand province. He was conducting a route search to clear devices to allow the Battle Group freedom of movement.
Corporal James Oakland RMP
Corporal James 'Jim' Oakland deployed two months early as a Battlefield Casualty Replacement, prior to the rest of the Company for Op HERRICK 11. On arrival he was deployed to a Forward Operating Base as the Weapons Intelligence Detachment Commander in the Gereshk area of Helmand Province.
Embedded within the Battlegroup, his duties included direct support to Improvised Explosive Device Disposal teams, scientific exploitation of devices and support to Battle Group patrols.
Corporal Oakland was an outstanding Junior Non-Commissioned Officer with excellent prospects. He joined the Army in January 2002 and passed out into the Intelligence Corps. In 2003 he transferred to the Royal Military Police and attended phase 2 training at the Royal Military Police Training School, Chichester.
His first posting was to 156 Provost Company RMP in Colchester, where he conducted General Policing Duties. From there he deployed with the Spearhead Lead Element to operations in Kosovo and Beirut. Following this Corporal Oakland immersed himself in pre-deployment training for OP HERRICK 8 where he deployed with the Force Protection Company in KABUL.
After this highly successful tour he was posted to Weapons Intelligence Specialist Company and soon sent on his Level 2 Investigational course, qualifying him as a Class 1 RMP Investigator. He passed with a very high standard and a recommendation for the Special Investigation Branch.
On return to his unit he again became involved with pre-deployment training prior to deploying as the Weapons Intelligence Detachment Commander in the Gereshk area of Helmand Province.
Corporal Oakland was a personable, motivated and intelligent individual. He nurtured those under his Command whilst constantly striving to better himself by learning from his superiors. He was enthusiastic and energetic about his work.
Corporal Oakland is survived by his parents Steve and Christine and a brother, Daniel, who is in his final term at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He had a long term girlfriend, Lauren Bowyer, whom he loved dearly and enjoyed travelling the world with; Corporal Oakland was very close to his family who are from New Moston in Manchester.
Corporal Oakland's family paid the following tribute:
"We are immensely proud of James, the person he was and the job that he did. He was a true friend, loving son, grandson, brother and boyfriend, who will be dearly missed and never forgotten."