VICENZA, Italy – U.S. Soldiers training with Somali forces in Mogadishu, Somalia, provided emergency care to 30 passengers involved in a civilian plane crash Monday morning.
Three 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade Soldiers out of Fort Bragg, N.C., were conducting medical training with a platoon of Somalia’s Danab commandos when a Jubba Airlines aircraft crash-landed at Mogadishu International Airport at 10:30 a.m. on July 18.
While the Danab commandos rushed toward the aircraft to pull injured passengers from the aircraft, the three American SFAB team members established a triage station about 100 meters from the crash site and assisted local emergency responders to evacuate 16 injured passengers to nearby medical facilities.
Sgt. 1st Class Caleb Vanvoorhis, Staff Sgt. JoAnna Baxter and Staff Sgt. Taylor Palmer were training with Somalia’s Danab Brigade as part of an ongoing effort to train and enhance Somalia’s military medical capability.
Leaders of the SFAB praised the reactions of the three Soldiers and the Danab commandos. “I am very proud of the team and their partners, the Danab,” said Lt. Col. Sean Nolan, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd SFAB. “Their combined actions demonstrated the agility, quick thinking and decisive action that is essential to the advisor mission.”
The Danab and SFAB climbed a razor-wire fence to reach the plane, which skidded to a halt upside down just meters from their training location.
“In our minds, the key thing to highlight is the Danab’s reaction to the crisis,” said Col. Michael Sullivan, 2nd SFAB commander. “Our Soldiers supported their response, which was highly professional and demonstrates the value of our commitment to long-term security cooperation efforts in the region.”
The three SFAB Soldiers are part of the Maneuver Adviser Team 2231, which is working with the Somali National Army Danab Brigade to strengthen capacity within the Danab in support of their enduring mission to conduct offensive operations against violent extremist organizations.
The U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa employs the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade to train, advise and assist African partner militaries on a range of ground force tactics, techniques and procedures. SETAF-AF is responsible for coordinating all U.S. Army activities in Africa in support of U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Europe and Africa.