HE was a fine ambassador for the Royal Air Force.
That was how Corporal Brent McCarthy, an RAF policeman based at RAF Brize Norton, was described yesterday as he was named as one of two servicemen killed in Afghanistan four days ago.
He was last night said to be a well-loved and extremely professional airman.
Cpl McCarthy was killed alongside Lance Corporal Lee Davies, from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards.
They had been training and mentoring Afghan police officers and were shot and killed while attending a meeting at a police headquarters in Helmand province.
Cpl McCarthy, 25, had been based at RAF Brize Norton since July 2009 and had been an active part of the community.
He represented the base in hockey as part of The RAF Brize Norton Wildcats and last year helped raised cash for forces charity Help for Heroes.
Alongside nine of his colleagues, he rowed the distance of the then repatriation route between RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
At the time, he said: “We just want to raise as much as we can for the injured soldiers, hopefully anything from £500 to £1,000.”
Carterton mayor Norman MacRae said: “All deaths are very sad occasions, but having one from within our own community makes it even more poignant and emotional.
“The whole town will feel very much for the family because the town and the air force are very close. It is just desperately, desperately sad.”
Group Captain Dom Stamp, RAF Brize Norton station commander, said he had been “greatly saddened” to hear of Cpl McCarthy’s death.
He said: “Cpl McCarthy had been stationed at Royal Air Force Brize Norton for the last two years and was a popular and exceedingly professional airman. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and colleagues”
He leaves behind his father John, mother Sarah, sister Jodie, partner Sarah and his niece Miajay and nephew Kyron.
In a statement, his family said: “Brent will be sadly missed not only by us but also by his loving partner Sarah and her devoted family. Life will never be the same for any of us.”
Cpl McCarthy, who had a love for sport and played drums in a band, was born to a service family in Hannover, Germany, and was brought up in Priorslee, Telford.
His colleague, L Cpl Davies, 27, of Carmarthen, was deployed to Afghanistan on March 21 and had a promising career ahead of him. He joined the Welsh Guard in April 2010 and rose quickly through the ranks to become Lance Corporal in December 2011.
Lieutenant Colonel Dino Bossi, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said: “To have made such a profound impact so early in his army career speaks volumes about the quality of the man we have lost.”
A date for their bodies to be flown back to RAF Brize Norton is expected to be announced today.