Digger SAS explosive expert found, 14 months MIA in A-stan

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by -Sardaukar-, Nov 14, 2009.

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  1. Bit of good news, for a while.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/11/12/2740514.htm

    Digger dog found after Afghan adventure


    Posted November 12, 2009 09:27:00
    Updated November 12, 2009 12:20:00

    Sabi was flown to Tarin Kowt to be reunited with one of her trainers. (Department of Defence)

    An Australian Special Forces explosives detection dog has been found alive and well almost 14 months after going missing in action (MIA) in Afghanistan.

    Sabi was found by a US soldier at an isolated patrol base in north-eastern Uruzgan last week.

    The black Labrador was declared MIA in September 2008 during the same battle with the Taliban in which SAS Trooper Mark Donaldson won his Victoria Cross.

    Sabi was present with her handler when their combined Australian, US and Afghan National Army convoy was ambushed by an insurgent force.

    Nine Australian soldiers, including Sabi's handler, were wounded during the engagement.

    Sabi spent more than a year in the desolate south of Afghanistan and repeated attempts were made by the Special Operations Task Group to find her.

    The US soldier who found her, and who can only be identified by his first name John, was aware Australian Special Forces soldiers were missing one of their explosive detection dogs.

    He said it was immediately obvious that Sabi was no ordinary dog.

    "I took the dog and gave it some commands it understood," he said.

    She was flown to Tarin Kowt to be reunited with one of her trainers and he knew instantly it was Sabi.

    "I nudged a tennis ball to her with my foot and she took it straight away. It's a game we used to play over and over during her training," the trainer said.

    "It's amazing, just incredible, to have her back."

    Currently in the United Kingdom after meeting Her Majesty the Queen, Trooper Mark Donaldson said Sabi's return closed a chapter of their shared history.

    "She's the last piece of the puzzle," he said. "Having Sabi back gives some closure for the handler and the rest of us that served with her in 2008. It's a fantastic morale booster for the guys."

    At the time of her disappearance Sabi was coming to the end of her second tour of duty in Afghanistan, having previously deployed to Uruzgan in 2007.

    Sabi will now undergo a period of quarantine before a decision can be made about the timing of her return to Australia
     
  2. :D Good news from AFG for once :D
     
  3. Already done HERE
     
  4. Don't know why, but this story brought a smile to my face.
     
  5. What a great story. Hounds never ever let you down. Boys that served over here on Op Banner must of remembered the mutts and strays that would come out on patrol and were loyal. Does anybody remember the Heinz 57 dog with the dogtag stamped 'HIV +' down in Bessbrook Mill in the Mid 90's that used to go out on patrol & liked helicopters ? I remember carefully taking it into Wessex, Puma & Lynx cabs. Small scruffy wee shite but we all loved it.
     
  6. Rats the Welsh Guards Jack Russel springs to mind.Welcome back Sabi. :D
     
  7. @ Hedgy thats right. I forgot the name it was Rats. He used to sunbathe at the PVCPs in Bessbrook on hot days and loved crisps.
     
  8. And heli rides.Didn't he get a gong?.My memory is fcuked. :lol:
     
  9. HIV + / Rats loved flying. Many a Squaddie or Peeler took him for a spin in a kite. He was a legend. We got held over for 2 days in a tower and HIV +/Rats was 100% and kept our spirits up. What Gong did Rats get ??
     
  10. @ Hedgy Cheers mate.
     
  11. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    Pity hounds can't write autobios: This long on the prowl behind enemy lines must be a record. I'll bet her survival is getting Chris Ryan's and Marcus Luttrell's tails up: They must be bristling with envy (if not barking mad).

    Anyway, here's hoping she is returned to Oz, granted a kevlar kennel, a gold-plated post to pish upon and kept in sausages forever before some celebrity agent gets his paws on her. Oh, and introduced to the handsome dog of her choice (An Afghan Hound? Probably not).

    Interested to learn that Donaldson was invited to meet the Queen even though his VC was an "Aussie" one. Good drills by HM - or whoever invited him.