Home' Army News : November 25th 2010 Contents WORLD NEWS 15
Army November 25, 2010
AN INTERNAL assessment into an
operational incident in Afghanistan in
which an Afghan man was shot and
killed in the Baluchi Valley region has
The review conducted by Defence
determined that the Australian soldiers
involved in the incident adhered to the
rules of engagement.
Special Operations Task Group sol-
diers were conducting a reconnaissance
mission during the evening of August 23
when the incident occurred.
The soldiers were approached by a
man carrying a machine gun.
The man was within 30 metres of the
patrol when he was challenged to stop in
the local Pashtu language.
The man initially stopped in response
to being challenged, but then proceeded
to take a further step forward.
He was challenged a second time to
stop. He again took a further step for-
ward, but then raised his weapon at the
members of the patrol. He was shot and
The next day, information was
received that the man was not an insur-
gent but the son of a local elder.
A Shura (meeting) was called and
the incident was subsequently discussed.
Condolences were passed to the elder
and these were accepted.
The internal review conducted into
the soldiers' actions determined that the
soldiers responded lawfully to the situa-
tion confronting them.
The review further found that their
actions were in accordance with their
rules of engagement and a legitimate act
This incident reflects the complex and
dangerous environment the Australian
and Coalition soldiers operate in.
CDF ACM Angus Houston, referred
to the findings of this internal review at
Senate Estimates on October 19.
By Spc Jennifer Spradlin, US Army
THE order is given and within sec-
onds a chain of carefully co-ordinated
events results in a deafening explosion
that shakes the ground and reverberates
along the mountainside.
The immediate area is engulfed in a
curtain of smoke and, as the dust clears,
the sound of clapping and cheers fills
The Afghan National Army (ANA)
is conducting monthly live-fire artillery
training with the assistance of Mentoring
Task Force 2 (MTF 2).
For the ANA soldiers, it is an exciting
culmination of their hard work and effort.
Artillery mentor team leader Darwin-
based Capt Wade Cooper said the
ANA was continuing to learn to supply
direct and indirect fire in support of ANA
"This can be providing high explo-
sives in proximity to their Army, or
providing illumination fire to assist the
ground forces in identifying friendly or
enemy forces," Capt Cooper said.
Capt Cooper and his four-man team
work on a daily basis with the soldiers of
the ANA 4 Bde's 4 Combat Spt Kandak.
"They train very hard; they're quite
regimented; very loyal and very proud
to be a part of the cannon battery," Capt
Members of MTF 2 look forward to
developing the skills of the ANA sol-
diers to the point where the MTF's role is
more advisory than hands-on.
The afternoon training focused on
direct fire techniques with a 122mm
D-30 Towed Howitzer and high explosive
Hamidullah, an Afghan crew member
with the 4 CS Kandak, said he and his
colleagues were very appreciative of the
support from the Coalition forces.
"Our soldiers have to do our best
with the training. We have to come every
day and try our best to learn from the
Australian and US troops," he said.
Future MTF 2 objectives include
acquiring additional artillery equip-
ment to outfit the cannon battery and the
establishment of a fire-support base at
Multinational Base Tarin Kot.
On target: Australian mentors have praised the ANA gunners as hard
working and loyal.
Big bang theory: ANA gunners (above) from
the 4th Cannon Bty, 4th Combat Spt Kandak
put their training into practice.
Teamwork: Gunners prepare for the next live
fire. The Afghan gunners are continuing to learn
and supply direct and indirect live fire missions.
Photos by US Army Spc Jennifer Spradlin
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