Australian Soldier Wounded
31 January 2011
An Australian soldier serving with the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan is recovering from a serious gunshot wound received during a clearance operation in northern Kandahar Province last Friday (28 January, 2011).
The soldier was clearing a suspected insurgent cache location when the incident occurred.
Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Mark Evans said that from initial reporting it appeared the incident was an accident and not the result of enemy action.
Lieutenant General Evans said that an initial assessment of events on Friday had prompted him to direct a formal inquiry into the incident.
“The inquiry will look at the incident, specifically how the soldier was shot. At the moment, my immediate concern is for the health of the young soldier involved,” Lieutenant General Evans said.
The inquiry is expected to take several weeks to complete and Defence is unable to provide further comment until that time.
“He owes his life to some fantastic work by his mates at the scene, the crew of the casualty evacuation helicopter and staff in the Tarin Kot and Kandahar Medical facilities who through their combined efforts improved his prognosis for recovery over the weekend,” Lieutenant General Evans said.
The wounded soldier will move to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for further treatment once he is stable enough to travel.
The wounded soldier’s family has been notified and is receiving support from Defence.
Due to ongoing operations in the vicinity of the incident, Defence has only now been able to release of this information.
The Special Operations Task Group element remains in the field and further information about the specifics of the incident cannot be released at this time.