Tributes to bomb disposal expert
The wife of a bomb disposal expert killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan has paid tribute to her husband, saying he had a "heart of gold".
Warrant Officer Class 2 Charles Wood, 34, from Middlesbrough, was caught in a blast from an IED (improvised explosive device) as he led the clearance of a route through the Khushdal Kalay area of the Helmand River Valley on Tuesday.
His colleagues described the soldier, of 23 Pioneer Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, as a "consummate professional".
WO2 Wood leaves behind his wife Heather, mother Barbara, father John and sisters Samantha and Amanda.
Heather Wood said: "The family have lost a son, a brother and an uncle and I have lost my loving husband who was also my best friend. Charlie had an infectious personality who made a positive effect on everyone he met; he had a heart of gold and endeared himself to everyone.
"He will be sorely missed by those who had the good fortune to have met and known him. He will be forever in our thoughts for the rest of our lives."
WO2 Wood deployed to Afghanistan on November 6 as an advanced search adviser, trained to co-ordinate the detection of IEDs. WO2 Wood, who joined the Army in 1994 and also served in Iraq and Bosnia, had raised thousands of pounds for forces charities.
WO2 Wood's colleagues described him as a "huge character" who volunteered for the job of advanced search adviser "in full knowledge of the potential risks".
Lieutenant Colonel Mark Davis, commanding officer of the Counter-IED Task Force, said: "The death of WO2 Wood has rocked the Counter-IED Task Force; it has taken us all by surprise and the corresponding sense of loss is massive.
"He was a huge character - a complete live wire - a man who never rested. He was always on the go, constantly thinking ahead, planning the next stage and working out how best to achieve the mission. And who did he do this for? Certainly not for himself - he did it for his men."