Fort Bragg soldiers who were training with Somali forces in Mogadishu went from training mode to responder mode when a civilian plane crashed Monday morning, the U.S. Army said in a press release.
Three 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade soldiers provided emergency care to 30 passengers when a Jubba Airlines aircraft crash landed at Mogadishu International Airport around 10:30 a.m., the release said.
The Fort Bragg soldiers were conducting medical training with a platoon of Somalia’s Danab commandos when the crash occurred.
The plane skidded to a halt upside down near their training location, the release said. The Danab and SFAB soldiers climbed a razor-wire fence to reach the plane.
Members of the Danab commandos pulled injured passengers from the aircraft while the SFAB team members established a triage station and helped local emergency responders evacuate 16 injured passengers to nearby medical facilities, the release said.
The Army identified the soldiers as Sgt. 1st Class Caleb Vanvoorhis, Staff Sgt. JoAnna Baxter and Staff Sgt. Taylor Palmer. They were training with Somalia’s Danab Brigade as part of an ongoing effort to train and enhance Somalia’s military medical capability, the release said.
Leaders of the SFAB praised the reactions of the soldiers and the Danab commandos.
“I am very proud of the team and their partners, the Danab,” Lt. Col. Sean Nolan, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd SFAB, said in the release. “Their combined actions demonstrated the agility, quick thinking and decisive action that is essential to the advisor mission.”
Col. Michael Sullivan, 2nd SFAB commander, offered similar comments.
“In our minds, the key thing to highlight is the Danab’s reaction to the crisis,” Sullivan said in the release. “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 SFAB soldiers are part of the Maneuver Adviser Team 2231, which is working with the Somali National Army Danab Brigade to help its mission to conduct offensive operations against violent extremist organizations, the release said.
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 number of ground force tactics, techniques and procedures, the release said.