Monday, November 2, 2009
It is with great regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Staff Sergeant Olaf Sean George Schmid, of the Royal Logistic Corps, in Afghanistan on the afternoon of Saturday 31 October 2009.
SSgt Schmid died instantly following an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion in the Sangin region of Helmand Province.
At the time he was commanding an Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) team who were dealing with a confirmed IED.
Working in concert with an Advanced Search team he was conducting a manual route search to clear devices in the vicinity of the Forward Operating Base and was defusing the device when it initiated.
Staff Sergeant Olaf Sean George Schmid
SSgt Schmid was born in Truro, Cornwall on 11 June 1979. He was married to Christina (Chrissy) and had a step-son Laird, aged five. They lived together as a family in Winchester.
An Ammunition Technician (AT) by trade, SSgt Schmid served much of his career at the Commando Logistic Regt and thrived in 3 Commando Brigade, the ethos there suiting his thirst for soldiering.
He sailed through the ranks and was selected for promotion to SSgt in April 2008. SSgt Schmid was posted to 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps as an AT Senior Non-Commissioned Officer at Alpha Troop providing close IEDD support to Special Forces and Police Tactical Firearms teams; an area in which he continued to thrive.
He had a natural aptitude for IEDD and made steady progress through the numerous courses that an AT has to go through to become a High Threat Operator. He successfully passed the High Threat IEDD Course earlier this year which qualified him to operate in Afghanistan which is considered very much the pinnacle of any AT's operational career.
SSgt Schmid arrived in theatre on Op HERRICK 10 in June 2009, thrown in the deep-end participating in Op PANCHAI PALANG during the summer. During the course of his tour, he attended 41 tasks, rendered safe 64 IEDs and attended 11 finds of bomb making equipment.
Christina Schmid, wife of Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid said:
"Oz was a phenomenal husband and loving father who was cruelly murdered on his last day of a relentless five month tour.
"He was my best friend and soul mate. The pain of losing him is overwhelming. I take comfort knowing he saved countless lives with his hard work. I am so proud of him."
Lieutenant Col Robert Thomson, Commanding Officer 2 RIFLES Battle Group said:
"SSgt Oz Schmid was simply the bravest and most courageous man I have ever met. Under relentless IED and small arms attacks he stood taller than the tallest. He opened the Pharmacy Road and 24 hrs later, found 31 IEDs in one go on route SPARTA. Every single Company in 2 RIFLES adored working with him.
"I adored working with him. No matter how difficult or lethal the task which lay in front of us, he was the man who only saw solutions.
"He saved lives in 2 RIFLES time after time and for that he will retain a very special place in every heart of every Rifleman in our extraordinary Battle Group. Superlatives do not do the man justice. Better than the best. Better than the best of the best. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beloved family."