Corporal (Cpl) Benjamin Roberts-Smith MG, with the Special Operations Task Group, moving away ...

Unit Special Operations Task Group (SOTG)
Accession Number P09901.002
Collection type Photograph
Object type Colour - Digital file JPEG
Maker Evans, Paul
Place made Afghanistan: Uruzgan Province, Tarin Kot
Date made 6 April 2010
Conflict Afghanistan, 2001-
Copyright

Item copyright: Commonwealth of Australia copyright

Description

Corporal (Cpl) Benjamin Roberts-Smith MG, with the Special Operations Task Group, moving away from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter during preperation of the Shah Wali Kot Offensive. The Shah Wali Kot Offensive was part of Australia's contribution to Operation Hamkari, the Coalition operation to extend the Government of Afghanistan's influence into Kandahar City. Cpl Roberts-Smith was awarded the Victoria Cross on 23 January 2011 for his actions during a helicopter assault into Tizak, Kandahar Province, in June 2010. Whilst under machine gun and rocket propelled grenade fire, Roberts-Smith manoeuvred his patrol to within 40 metres of the enemy position. Seeing an opportunity to exploit some cover provided by a small shelter, Cpl Roberts-Smith neutralised an enemy grenadier and exposed his own position to draw fire away from his patrol. This enabled his Patrol Commander to silence one of the machine guns with a grenade, at which point, Cpl Roberts-Smith, with a total disregard for his own safety, stormed the enemy position killing the two remaining machine gunners. Cpl Roberts-Smith, and another patrol member, continued to assault the enemy positions, allowing his troop to go on and clear the village of Tizak of Taliban.