SOMALIA – Medical training turned real for soldiers of Fort Bragg when a passenger plane in front of them crashed in Mogadishu, Somalia, according to an army press release.
Soldiers are deployed in Somalia under the supervision of the US Army’s Southern European Task Force in Africa to train, advise and assist African partner armies.
They are part of Maneuver Adviser Team 2231, which is working with the DNB Brigade of the Somali National Army in support of the DNB Brigade’s mission to conduct offensive operations against violent extremist organizations.
According to the press release, the soldiers were medically training a platoon of Somali Danab commandos when a Juba Air plane carrying around 30 passengers crashed at around 10:30 am on Monday at the nearby Mogadishu International Airport.
The commandos and Fort Bragg soldiers rushed into action, climbing a barbed wire fence to reach the plane, which slid upside down a few meters from their training site, according to the press release.
When the Danab commandos rushed toward the plane to pull out the injured passengers, Fort Bragg Soldiers, Sgt. 1st Class Caleb Vanvoorhis, Staff Sgt. Joanna Baxter and Sgt. Taylor Palmer established a triage area and helped local emergency responders evacuate 16 injured passengers to nearby medical facilities.
Fort Bragg Brigade commanders said they were proud of the reactions of the three soldiers and the Danab commandos.
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“Their joint actions demonstrated the agility, quick thinking, and decisive action that is essential to the advisor’s mission,” Lt. Col. Sean Nolan, Commander of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Security Assistance Brigade, said in the statement.
Colonel Michael Sullivan, commander of the Security Force’s 2nd Aid Brigade, had a role in the commandos’ response to the crisis.
“Our soldiers have supported their response, which has been highly professional and demonstrates the value of our commitment to long-term security cooperation efforts in the region,” Sullivan said.
Staff writer Rachel Riley can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3528.
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