Hard landing of ISAF Black Hawk wounds one Australian soldier
18 June 2013
During a combined Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) and Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) mission in Uruzgan province, an ISAF helicopter experienced a hard landing 55kms east of Tarin Kot on 11 June 2013.
At the time of the incident, five Australian personnel were on board, together with the ISAF aircrew, one Provincial Response Company – Uruzgan (PRC-U) member and one interpreter.
Although the hard landing was not the result of enemy action, Commanding Officer SOTG, LTCOL J (who cannot be named for operational reasons) has praised the SOTG soldiers for their quick reaction in securing the helicopter following the heavy landing.
"The soldiers reacted instantly and quickly took up positions to secure both the helicopter and the aircrew," said LTCOL J.
"They operate in hostile territory and this fast action prevented the situation from escalating."
On return to base two SOTG personnel presented with symptoms associated with the heavy landing. One soldier, who presented with symptoms consistent with concussion, has been assessed as wounded in action. The other SOTG soldier returned to duty.
The wounded soldier was subsequently transferred to the Role 3 ISAF Medical Facility at Kandahar Air Field for further medical assessment.
"While the wounding doesn’t appear to be of a serious nature, all precautionary measures are taken before soldiers are returned to duty,” said LTCOL J.
"All of the personnel involved have had the opportunity to contact their families and we will continue to provide support where it is required.
"Missions such as this are not without risk; however they are necessary in ensuring a secure future for the people of Afghanistan.
"We will continue to focus on the long term outcome of transitioning the Afghan National Security Forces to autonomous security lead in Uruzgan province by the end of 2013," he said
The other SOTG personnel involved in the heavy landing have returned to duty.
Defence will not release the personal details of the wounded soldier.
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999