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Army June 23, 2011
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By LCpl Mark Doran
SCHOOL of Infantry instructor Cpl Russell
Goodsell was awarded a Distinguished Service
Medal for his actions under fire as a section com-
mander with MTF 1.
During a patrol at Kakarak in the Baluchi Valley on
March 27, 2010, Cpl Goodsell's combined Australian
and Afghan force encountered an IED near a poppy field.
Cpl Goodsell said his patrol was near a crossing over
an aqueduct when an IED detonated 5m from him.
"It was a very loud explosion and the force put me on
my arse," Cpl Goodsell said.
"I was mostly impressed with Pte Thomas Mannix
[6RAR] who rushed to my position to check me and
make sure I was all right before we consolidated.
"We were lucky as there were no other injuries from
the blast or from the next IED, which exploded in a hay-
stack on the way back to base."
Cpl Goodsell's citation states he "demonstrated inspi-
rational courage and selflessness when, despite being
wounded by an IED, he continued to assist in extracting
his combined Australian and Afghan patrol to safety".
It was not until they returned to the patrol base and
when the medic did an examination that he found Cpl
Goodsell had a perforated ear drum.
The next incident mentioned in the citation happened
on July 29, 2010. The citation states "Cpl Goodsell
again demonstrated exceptional leadership and compo-
sure under fire, manoeuvring a large force element and
controlling direct fire support and, thereby, enabling the
combined Australian and Afghan patrol to engage the
He said his section was conducting a satellite patrol
and searching aqueducts when another section, which
included Australian and Afghan personnel, was engaged
by insurgents while searching qualas.
"The insurgents withdrew close to our position and
we were then able to initiate contact," Cpl Goodsell said.
"We also fired 40mm smoke grenades to help direct
the fire-support from ASLAVs to help them accurately
engage the insurgents. The entire contact took a couple
of hours, with constant fire in the beginning then becom-
ing more sporadic before finally stopping once the
ASLAVs began to decisively engage the targets."
There were no woundings to the Australian or Afghan
soldiers during the battle and it was not known if there
were insurgent casualties.
Cpl Goodsell said it was humbling to get the award,
but it was a successful patrol because all the members of
the team knew their roles.
"The IETs I am training at Singleton could be going
to Afghanistan soon," Cpl Goodsell said.
"I am looking forward to passing on the knowledge
from my operational experiences. You do things on
deployment that teach you a lot about yourself and the
people you work with. You're put into situations you can
only experience on operations."
Gallant under fire
By LCpl Mark Doran
MEDAL of Gallantry recipi-
ent WO2 Kevin Dolan, 1 Regt
RAA, called in offensive sup-
port from Apaches and ASLAVs
as he fought for his own life
during a day of fierce contacts in
As a joint terminal attack con-
troller with MTF 1 in the Mirabad
Valley, WO2 Dolan was on
an eventful nine-hour patrol on
July 2, 2010, which encountered
three IEDs and two ambushes, and
during which two Australian sol-
diers were wounded.
The combined Australian and
ANA patrol left Patrol Base Wali
at 5.30am and started patrol-
ling the village of Sorkh Lez at
An IED exploded near the
patrol five minutes later, which
did not wound anyone. Once the
immediate area was searched and
cleared, the patrol resumed.
WO2 Dolan had patrolled
Sorkh Lez several times and said
he was familiar with the area.
"It felt like the atmosphere was
tense all day," he said.
"We had struck the first IED
five minutes into the [village] --
we weren't on edge, though we
were more acutely aware of our
surroundings and noticed there
weren't any locals about."
The next IED detonated
15-20m from WO2 Dolan,
wounding two Australian sol-
diers in front of him while he was
blown off his feet.
His citation states "WO2
Dolan, despite the threat of addi-
tional explosive devices, quickly
moved to protect his wounded
team members by engaging the
enemy and, in so doing, prevented
an insurgent ambush."
They secured the area and
while an engineer searched for
evidence, WO2 Dolan brought in
a US Black Hawk to evacuate the
wounded to the medical facili-
ties at Tarin Kot before the patrol
started to again return to base.
WO2 Dolan said the patrol
had only moved about 100m
before the third IED exploded
20m to his left.
"I was caught in the open with
two other soldiers," he said.
"We again spotted insurgents
who fired at us, so we engaged
them with small-arms fire as they
took cover behind a wall.
"I called in the cavalry with
their ASLAVs to fire 25mm at the
lane, which temporarily silenced
"We attempted to break con-
tact, only to be engaged again
from the same area, so I called in
the Dutch Apaches and directed
them towards the lane, which they
engaged with their 30mm."
This ambush lasted 45 minutes
and during this time WO2 Dolan
was controlling two sets of F-16s
from the US and Belgium, which
were flying above the Apaches
ready to attack in case the situa-
While providing effective fire
to allow his team to extract them-
selves, he was also relaying infor-
mation from an Australian Heron
His citation states "these
actions, and his skilful coordina-
tion of offensive support from
helicopters and vehicles, con-
tributed significantly to the suc-
cessful clearance of the village
of Sorkh Lez, and allowed a
combined Australian and Afghan
company to sweep through the
area without resistance."
WO2 Dolan said being award-
ed the medal was a tremendous
honour, but said he was in the cat-
egory of people who didn't think
they deserved it.
"I don't see it as an individual
effort as there were other soldiers
working with me on that day," he
"I am immensely proud and
humbled, though I have mixed
emotions because it was only a
few weeks earlier I was on the
patrol where we lost Sprs Jacob
Moerland and Darren Smith.
"I will be wearing the medal
for all the guys that were there
with me and the heroes who did
WO2 Dolan transferred to the
Australian Army in 2003 having
served on operations in Northern
Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo and
Sierra Leone with the British
Commandos. Since joinging the
ADF, he has also served in Iraq.
Bravery rewarded: WO2 Kevin Dolan in Afghanistan. WO2 Dolan was awarded a Medal of
Gallantry for his actions during a day of contacts in Afghanistan in 2010.
Photo by Lt Pete Strub
Distinguished Service Medal: Cpl Russell
Goodsell received a DSM for his actions as a
section commander with MTF 1 in Afghanistan.
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