East Timor, 1999-2013
United Nations Medal, UNMISET : Private S T Palmer, 5th/7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Operation Citadel
United Nations Medal with ribbon for the United Nations Mission of Support to East Timor (UNMISET). Unnamed as issued.
Medal issued to 8230813 Private Scott Travis Palmer. Born 24 December 1982, and a resident of Katherine, Northern Territory, Palmer was a keen footballer and an enthusiastic soldier. He joined the Army on 5 February 2001 and after initial training, was posted to 5th/7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment on 26 June. From 18 February to 19 May 2003, Private Palmer deployed to East Timor as part of Operation Citadel, Australia’s contribution to support the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET). After further specialist training, Palmer deployed to Iraq under Operation Catalyst for two tours - 7 May to 28 September 2005 and 12 October to 8 November later that year. His experiences in Iraq led him to consider transfer to Australia’s special forces, and on 29 November 2005, he was graded 'suitable' for Special Forces training and upon successful completion was posted to 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (Commando) on 30 October 2006. His first deployment in this role was to East Timor from 1 March to 7 June 2007, as part of Operation Astute. Palmer deployed to Afghanistan for three tours supporting Operation Slipper, from 19 January to 21 June 2008, 6 March to 15 July 2009 and 25 February to the occasion of his death on 21 June 2010.
Palmer was killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan on Monday 21 June 2010, which also claimed the lives of Private Tim Aplin, Private Ben Chuck and an American crewman, Staff Sergeant Brandon Silk. Another seven Australians were injured in the crash. The US UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was one of four transporting personnel into the Shah Wali Kot region. During the final approach to the landing zone the helicopter hit an embankment at high speed, causing it to roll a number of times and catch fire.
Scott’s body was returned to Australia and buried in Darwin on Saturday 10 July 2010 after a service at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral, attended by, amongst others, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, Defence Minister John Faulkner and Chief Minister Paul Henderson. The honour guard was formed from members of 2 Commando Regiment and 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.