Tributes to female army bomb expert
Tributes have been paid to the first British female bomb disposal expert to be killed in action.
Captain Lisa Jade Head, of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, the Royal Logistic Corps, had disabled one homemade bomb when another exploded in an alleyway in Nahr-e-Saraj, Helmand Province, on Monday.
The 29-year-old, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, who had deployed to Afghanistan only on March 27, was flown home and treated in hospital in Birmingham but died there on Tuesday.
Capt Head's family issued a statement saying: "We wish to say that we are extremely proud of Lisa. Lisa always said that she had the best job in the world and she loved every second of it.
"Lisa had two families - us and the Army. Lisa had a fantastic life and lived it to the full. No one was more loved."
Lieutenant Colonel Adam McRae, her regiment's commanding officer, said: "Capt Lisa Head will be remembered by the officers and soldiers of the regiment as a passionate, robust and forthright individual who enjoyed life to the full - be it at work, on the sporting field or at the bar.
"She was totally committed to her profession and rightly proud of being an ammunition technical officer. She took particular pride in achieving the coveted 'High Threat' status, which set her at the pinnacle of her trade."
Lieutenant Colonel Mark Budden, commanding officer of Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Task Force, said the captain's death had "rocked" her colleagues. "Her selfless commitment, dealing with the most dangerous of threats in Afghanistan, is a lesson to us all," he said. "In a dark time, she had a natural energy surrounding her, an energy that provides a light to shine a path for us all."
Capt Head's improvised explosive device (IED) disposal team applauded her strong character and leadership qualities, saying: "It was a pleasure to work with you for the short time we had together, you certainly are a northern girl with your strong will and ability to put us lads in our place when needed."
Capt Head is the second British woman soldier to be killed in Afghanistan. In June 2008 Sarah Bryant, 26, a member of the Intelligence Corps, died along with three SAS men in a roadside bomb attack in Lashkar Gah.