Author Topic: Diggers awarded bravery medals  (Read 1787 times)

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Offline big bad john (John Hill)

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Diggers awarded bravery medals
« on: September 29, 2006, 00:13:46 »
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20488742-31477,00.html

Diggers awarded bravery medals
Mark Dodd
September 28, 2006
TWO Australian soldiers will receive the military's third-highest bravery award after combat operations in the remote Taliban heartland of Afghanistan that were fought on a scale not seen since the Vietnam War.
A warrant officer class two, identified only as Z, will receive the Medal for Gallantry for trying to save the life of his Afghan comrade.

A second Medal for Gallantry will be awarded to a patrol commander identified as Y, who, while under "intense fire" from enemy militia, recovered a machinegun in order to "neutralise enemy fire positions".

Both were with the special forces taskforce in Afghanistan.

The Medal for Gallantry - the equivalent of a Military Cross or Military Medal in the old imperial system - ranks behind only the Victoria Cross and the Star of Gallantry in terms of military awards. The award has already been won in Australia's Afghanistan campaign, with SAS signalman Martin "Jock" Wallace receiving the medal in 2002.

Warrant Officer Z's citation said that while conducting a patrol in southern Afghanistan, he was ordered to clear and secure a safe passage for a following patrol. Accompanied by an Afghan National Army soldier, the pair were engaged by anti-coalition militia at close range in a gun battle that resulted in the Afghan soldier being severely wounded.

While the patrol was engaged in a sustained firefight for several hours, the warrant officer made three attempts to rescue his critically injured colleague while under "extremely heavy fire from numerous enemy positions".

The Afghan died of his wounds but the Australian soldier, in staying with his fallen comrade, displayed "courage of the highest order in keeping with the finest traditions of the Australian army".

Sergeant Y placed himself in an extremely hazardous situation while under heavy fire "to gain situational awareness and command of his patrol in order to link up with the main force element", his citation reads, adding that his actions were pivotal in preventing loss of life among the men under his command.

Commandos from 4th Royal Australian Regiment attached to the special forces taskforce often fought alongside the SAS and in one notable engagement at Ta Khout provided an "escape corridor" for a foreign coalition assault force that had suffered heavy casualties. The nation was not identified.

During 395 days of active service, none of the 200 special forces soldiers was killed and only 11 were wounded. Only now, after their return home, are the first details of their highly secretive operations being revealed.

Based in central Oruzgan province, birthplace of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, the special forces troops launched more than 100 operational patrols and were involved in 139 separate combat incidents.

In a rare insight into the murky world of clandestine counter-insurgency operations, Australian special forces chief Major General Mike Hindmarsh confirmed that senior Taliban leaders were killed during desperate gun battles involving a "tough and courageous" foe.

General Hindmarsh said patrols involving SAS operatives often lasted several weeks, requiring parachute resupply drops. He said the SAS quickly became as familiar with the hostile landscape as their enemy.

"The task group's SAS element provided classic, long-range clandestine surveillance and reconnaissance function."


Offline Digger Hale

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Re: Diggers awarded bravery medals
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2006, 03:22:56 »
I'll ask this tomorrow as well but when did we change our medals names? I need to have a look at those posters that are all over the walls again, i thought we still had the MC and the MM.
Another great post too BBJ, the SAS and 4RAR fellers over there do some pretty amazing stuff thats for sure
"Then imitate the actions of the tiger, stiffen the sinews, conjure up the blood...
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit to his full height..."