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Army May 24, 2012
DEFENCE will conduct an inquiry
after an Afghan boy was wounded
during an engagement with suspect-
Australian Special Forces were
on a partnered security opera-
tion with elements of the Afghan
National Security Forces in central
Uruzgan when the incident occurred
on May 1.
The boy, believed to be 12 years
old, is expected to recover. He is cur-
rently in a stable condition at the
Role 3 Medical Facility at Kandahar,
supported by his father.
Joint Operations Commander
Lt-Gen Ash Power said soldiers gave
immediate first-aid to the boy and
called for a medical evacuation to the
Role 2 Medical Facility at Tarin Kot.
"On arrival at Tarin Kot, medi-
cal teams stabilised the boy before
transferring him to Kandahar for
further treatment," Lt-Gen Power
"The partnered force at the inci-
dent site identified the boy's father
and arranged for him to be moved
to his son -- they are both in the
Kandahar Role 3 Medical Facility
and I understand the boy is in a seri-
ous medical condition but is stable
and he is responding to treatment."
Defence will inquire into the mat-
ter to determine the circumstances
surrounding the incident.
THREE SOTG personnel are
recovering after being wounded
during a mission in Afghanistan's
Northern Helmand on the morning
of May 3.
The three soldiers and two
Coalition members were wounded
when an insurgent-laid IED detonat-
ed mid-way through the mission.
Joint Operations Commander
Lt-Gen Ash Power said the wound-
ed soldiers received immediate first-
aid after the blast site was secured,
and a casualty evacuation was
"Two Australian soldiers suf-
fered serious blast and fragmenta-
tion wounds in the incident," he
said.Both have returned to Australia
for further treatment and rehabilita-
"The third Australian suffered
minor wounds and is likely to return
to full duties after a short period of
"Insurgents engaged the part-
nered force multiple times during
the mission," Maj-Gen Power said.
During the mission, several
caches containing narcotics and
drug manufacturing equipment were
recovered along with weapons,
ammunition and IED components.
Special Forces troops
wounded in Helmand
In recovery: Three SOTG members were wounded in an IED
blast during a partnered mission in Helmand province.
AFGHANISTAN President Hamid Karzai has
announced Uruzgan is among the next provinces to
begin the transition to Afghan-led security responsi-
bility from the middle of the year.
When the latest transitions are complete, more than
75 per cent of Afghanistan's population will live in areas
under Afghan-led security.
The MTF and SOTG will support Afghan National
Security Forces as they progressively take the lead for
security in Uruzgan throughout the transition.
The transition process can take 12-18 months, which
will keep Australia on track to meet its 2014 or earlier
Defence Minister Stephen Smith said the Government
would consider providing for Afghan National Security
Forces after transition.
"We're prepared to contemplate an ongoing presence
of advisers, of trainers, and also Special Forces, but that
presence would be very substantially less than our current,
on average 1550 [member] component, which is made up
by a large majority of our current mentors and trainers,"
Mr Smith said.
At the Lisbon NATO-ISAF Summit in November
2010, Afghanistan and ISAF countries agreed that Afghan
security forces would take responsibility for security by
the end of 2014.
The pending transition of Uruzgan province reflects
the progress made by Afghan, Australian and ISAF mili-
tary and civilian teams in improving security and in the
training and mentoring of the Afghan National Security
Mr Smith said the Government would continue with
the Development Assistance Program after transition.
"We want to continue with capacity building and help-
ing the Afghan Government so far as improving govern-
ance and improving the strength of their infrastructure,"
Mr Smith said.
"When it comes to matters military, we have said that
we are open to continue to make a contribution so far as
training and advising is concerned, and so, for example,
we currently engage in high-level or specialised training.
"We've also agreed to a proposal by the UK
Government that we join with the UK and also potentially
Canada and New Zealand, and other countries, to engage
in high-level training of Afghan National Army officers."
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Mr Smith planned to
reaffirm Australia's ongoing commitment to Afghanistan
at the NATO-ISAF Summit on May 20-21, announcing a
$100m annual contribution to sustaining and supporting
Afghan forces for three years from 2015.
Transition plan official
Afghan President includes Uruzgan in provinces to begin transition from mid year
Draw down coming: MTF operations in Afghanistan will continue as the transition to Afghan-led security in Uruzgan province takes
place over the next 12-18 months.
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