Jarrow soldier dies in Iraq after 'incident' at air base
A British soldier has died in an incident at an air base in Iraq.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the death of Captain Dean Sprouting was not the result of enemy activity.
An investigation has been launched into the incident at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, on January 31.
Captain Sprouting, originally of Jarrow, of the Adjutant General's Corps at the air base was serving with Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Lt Col Rob Hedderwick, Commanding Officer of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said: "It is hard to do justice to a man such as Dean Sprouting with simple words.
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"In no time at all he had become an indispensable part of the battalion, not only for his professional expertise but also for his compassionate manner and camaraderie.
"His intelligence and sharp wit was apparent from the outset; there was an ever-present twinkle in his eye and he would gladly admit that his youth had been full of adventure.
"Dean was simply one of those people whose infectious humour and enthusiasm drew others to him. His professional knowledge was second to none and his sage advice already something I had come to rely on.
"His loss is keenly felt by us all and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children whom I know he cherished more than anything else in this world. I am hugely proud and thankful to have known him. He was a very good man."
The father of two, of Denny, Stirlingshire, joined the army in 1989 and had served in places including Northern Yugoslavia, Cyprus and Kosovo, Sudan, Angola and Germany.
An investigation has been launched to establish the circumstances of the incident.
Minister for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster said: "Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time.
"An investigation is under way to establish the detail but it is not a result of enemy activity."