Insider attacks Inquiry Officer Report finalised
23 November 2012
The Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, today released an Inquiry Officer Report into two ‘insider attack’ incidents in Afghanistan in October and November 2011.
On 29 October 2011, ADF and Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers at Patrol Base Sorkh Bed had completed a morning parade when a rogue ANA member opened fire shooting 10 ADF members, one ANA soldier and three interpreters.
A number of ADF soldiers returned fire in self-defence, killing the shooter known as Sergeant Darwesh from the 6th Kandak.
Despite receiving immediate first aid, Captain Bryce Duffy, 4th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery and Corporal Ashley Birt, 1st Topographical Survey Squadron, 6th Engineer Support Regiment were pronounced dead on arrival at the Role Two medical facility in Tarin Kot. Lance Corporal Luke Gavin, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, also died of his wounds despite the treatment by the combat first aiders and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) medical staff. One ISAF interpreter was also killed in this incident.
On the afternoon of 8 November 2011, three Australian soldiers and two ANA soldiers were wounded when a member of the Afghan National Army (ANA) opened fire with an automatic weapon at Patrol Base Nasir in eastern Uruzgan.
The Inquiry Officer concluded the dress and force protection of ADF personnel involved in both incidents, including the level of weapon readiness, were consistent with extant orders and directives and the level of anticipated threat.
The report found ADF members responded to the rogue Afghan soldiers in self-defence, and the Australians’ response was quick, accurate and proportional to remove the threat.
Defence intelligence agencies provided an adequate level of assessment of the ‘insider threat’ to ADF commanders following the incident involving the death of Lance Corporal Jones and prior to the incident at Sorkh Bed. In making this finding, the Inquiry Officer highlighted the difficulty experienced by Defence intelligence agencies, as well as Commanders and ISAF partners in Afghanistan, to frame the nature of what is a complex and evolving threat.
The Inquiry Officer made four recommendations in the report, three of which have been accepted and are being implemented by Defence. Actions had already been taken to meet the intent of the other recommendation.
“Our thoughts remain with the families of Captain Duffy, Corporal Birt and Lance Corporal Gavin. Their loss continues to be felt deeply across the ADF, particularly by the mates they served with,” Air Marshal Binskin said.
A redacted copy of the Inquiry Report Into Green on Blue Incidents 29 Oct and 08 Nov 11 is available at: http://www.defence.gov.au/coi/
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