8 Dec 2010

Britain meets costs of killed soldier's parents

4:38 pm on 8 December 2010

The British government is paying to fly the parents of the New Zealander killed in Afghanistan to the United Kingdom.

Private Jack Howard, who was serving in the British Army, was shot and killed on Sunday, apparently by a US aircraft which was attacking an insurgent position in Helmand province.

The British government will also fly Private Howard's parents and the body of the 23-year-old back to New Zealand.

It is understood British paratroopers will come to New Zealand for the funeral.

Tributes from fellow soldiers, minister

British soldiers, army superiors and the UK Defence Secretary have paid tribute to the paratrooper.

The UK Ministry of Defence has published the tributes which Britain's Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, says show Private Howard was a well-liked soldier and an exceptionally gifted paratrooper.

Private Howard's superiors say he was identified as a potential high-flyer and was part of a team poised to attack its third enemy position of the day when he was killed.

He was a team medic, signalman, gunner and sharpshooter and described by fellow soldiers as compassionate, quick-witted, and intelligent.

Jack Howard served in the British Army's 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, and was on his second tour of Afghanistan.