Afghanistan/Australien — Update to helicopter incident in Afghanistan

The three Aus­tralian sol­diers killed in a heli­copter crash on Mon­day 21 June will begin their jour­ney home from Afghanistan this after­noon.

Pri­vate Tim Aplin, Pri­vate Ben Chuck, and Pri­vate Scott Palmer died as a result of an inci­dent involv­ing an Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force (ISAF) heli­copter.

A Ramp Cer­e­mo­ny will be held at the Mul­ti-Nation­al Base Tarin Kowt this after­noon Afghanistan time.

The cer­e­mo­ny will be sup­port­ed by mil­i­tary pho­tog­ra­phers and will be closed to the media in Afghanistan due to the atten­dance of Spe­cial Forces per­son­nel who hold pro­tect­ed iden­ti­ty sta­tus.

The sev­en wound­ed sol­diers con­tin­ue to receive med­ical care at a Coali­tion med­ical facil­i­ty in Ger­many. There are now three sol­diers med­ical­ly assessed as being in a very seri­ous con­di­tion and four sol­diers in a sat­is­fac­to­ry con­di­tion.

Tim­ing for the return of the wound­ed sol­diers to Aus­tralia is yet to be con­firmed and remains sub­ject to ongo­ing med­ical assess­ment.

Fam­i­ly mem­bers and part­ners of the wound­ed sol­diers have been flown to Ger­many to be with their wound­ed loved ones.

An Aus­tralian Defence Force spe­cial­ist in air inves­ti­ga­tions will join the Unit­ed States inves­ti­ga­tion into the heli­copter crash which occurred at 3.39am (Afghanistan Time) on Mon­day.

Media note: Imagery of the Tarin Kowt Ramp Cer­e­mo­ny will be avail­able for dis­tri­b­u­tion in Aus­tralia through the Par­lia­ment House Press Gallery on Fri­day morn­ing.

Media con­tact: Defence Media Liai­son: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia