An Australian CH-47 Chinook helicopter was fired upon by insurgents yesterday as it was taking off from a coalition patrol base in the Arghandab Valley region of Kandahar.
Two coalition forces soldiers on board the helicopter received minor wounds as a result of the attack. There were no Australian personnel wounded in the incident.
The Chinook immediately flew to the Role Three Medical Facility at the Kandahar Air Base where the two coalition forces soldiers are currently being treated for their wounds.
The Chinook was supporting an ISAF operation at the time of the attack.
Commander of Australian forces in the Middle East, Major General John Cantwell said the coalition soldiers were provided immediate first aid while en route to the medical facility at the Kandahar Air Base.
“Our Australian troops are well trained which was evident in the way the crew reacted to the incident in providing immediate medical assistance to the wounded soldiers and ensuring the Chinook arrived at the medical facility in less than 15 minutes,” Major General Cantwell said.
“The two wounded coalition soldiers are currently receiving further medical treatment at the Role Three medical centre.
“The Australian Chinooks regularly support ISAF operations in southern Afghanistan, often in hazardous environments and do an amazing job in this support role.”
An investigation is currently underway to establish the extent of the damage sustained by the helicopter.
The incident is unlikely to impact on ongoing operations in the region.
“We are thankful that no Australian soldiers were wounded during the attack but our thoughts are with the two coalition soldiers as they recover from their wounds,” said Major General Cantwell.
For more information on the ADF’s operation in Afghanistan go to http://www.defence.gov.au/op/afghanistan/index.htm
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