The Australian commando who died of non-combat gunshot wounds in Afghanistan this week has been identified as 29-year-old Lance Corporal Todd John Chidgey, who was on his sixth tour to the war-torn country.
Corporal Chidgey, born in Gosford, New South Wales, has been described by his comrades as ''a brilliant bloke to know and work with'' in a statement released by Defence on Thursday.
The elite soldier from the Sydney-based 2nd Commando Regiment was found with gunshot wounds in an administration building at the Australian Defence Force headquarters in Kabul on Tuesday night, Australian time.
Defence reiterated that the circumstances of his death have not yet been fully established. The ADF Investigative Service is examining the case.
Corporal Chidgey was serving as part of the Protective Security Detachment, providing protection to a senior Australian officer. He is survived by his mother, father, brothers and partner, Defence said.
''Lance Corporal Chidgey's colleagues in the 2nd Commando Regiment have described him as a brilliant bloke to know and work with, who was loyal to the core and would do anything for his mates,'' the statement said.
''A consummate professional and a dedicated soldier, Lance Corporal Chidgey was one of the hardest working members of the regiment, who never sought recognition or reward.''
His six deployments to Afghanistan, starting in 2008, ranged in length from two weeks to six months. He had received a range of honours and awards including the Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp, International Coalition Against Terrorism.
Australia's special forces, made up of the SAS and commandos, have carried out a large share of combat duties in Afghanistan, and correspondingly suffered the bulk of deaths and injuries.
Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, described Corporal Chidgey as a ''brave soldier'' who was ''highly qualified, experienced and well respected'' when he announced the soldier's death on Wednesday.
Air Marshal Binskin said Corporal Chidgey's colleagues found him about 2pm local time. He was rushed to a nearby hospital.
''Sadly, the soldier's injuries were too severe and he later died surrounded by his mates,'' Air Marshal Binskin said. ''His death will impact the nation and we will do all we can to support his family, his friends and his colleagues through the difficult days ahead.''
Air Marshal Binskin said coalition military police had secured the scene and the ADFIS was investigating.