Commander of Australian Forces in the Middle East, Major General John Cantwell, said the soldier was wounded in the initial exchange of gunfire. “Insurgents fired at the patrol as they moved through the complex terrain of the Mirabad Valley,”
Major General Cantwell said.
“The patrol quickly responded to the shooting by providing suppressive fire at the insurgents so their wounded comrade could be moved to safety for initial treatment.” The soldiers applied first aid to their wounded colleague and called for an aerial medical evacuation. During this period, the insurgents relocated and re-engaged the patrol with small arms fire. “The patrol quickly identified the new firing position and again suppressed the insurgent fire. The accuracy of the patrol’s fire forced the insurgents to retreat and they were seen moving away from the fighting,”
Major General Cantwell added.
The wounded Australian has received emergency care in Tarin Kowt and is currently listed as in a satisfactory, stable condition. Major General Cantwell spoke with the wounded soldier as he was prepared for surgery and said he was in good spirits despite his wound. “I am always impressed with our soldiers’ calm reactions in these sorts of situations.” Once the casualty was evacuated, the combined Australian and Afghan National Army patrol continued with its mission. This casualty brings the number of Australian soldiers wounded in Afghanistan this year to 20. To date, 120 personnel have been wounded since Operation SLIPPER began.