A MEDIC from RAF Odiham has been recognised for his courage after he took on Taliban fighters so he could give aid to injured British troops.
Sergeant Barry Kirkland, 38, had just stepped off a Chinook when he became involved in a firefight with Afghan insurgents on June 12 last year.
He has now been recognised with a joint commander’s commendation in the latest round of bravery honours for British personnel.
Sgt Kirkland was at the end of a 24-shift with the Immediate Response Team at Camp Bastion when a call came that British troops had been injured in a firefight.
He said that as soon as the aircraft landed near the injured troops, Taliban fighters started to shoot at the twin-rotored aircraft. Four members of the RAF Regiment Force Protection Team got out and returned fire before Sgt Kirkland got out.
The 38-year-old said: “The casualties were approaching the aircraft and I could see one was being dragged, one was blinded and the others were also injured.
“Because they were making their way to us, the insurgents came out from behind a wall and shot at myself, which had to be dealt with. They stopped returning fire and we effected the rescue.”
The five soldiers were treated on board the Chinook which flew back to Camp Bastion.
Sgt Kirkland, who is due to return to Afghanistan this September, added: “I was not scared because of the effectiveness of the training. I had a job to do and there was no time to do anything other than the job in hand.”