A Royal Marine from 40 Commando has been praised by his Commanding Officer for personally overseeing the safe medical evacuation of his injured colleagues despite being hit three times himself.
Lieutenant Jack Anrude, from 40 Commando Royal Marines, is currently serving in Helmand province in Afghanistan. He is a Multiple Commander and has been living and working in the notorious Sangin district for the last three months.
On Sunday 20 June 2010, his multiple was patrolling with the Afghan National Army (ANA) in a village when a lone insurgent opened fire, injuring three members of the patrol, including Lt Anrude, who was shot in the arm, head and took shrapnel wounds to his legs.
Lt Anrude said:
As we approached the local mosque in the village, the usual pattern of life was missing and there was already a sense that something suspicious was happening from within the compound walls.
We were trying to speak to one of the village elders, and an insurgent suddenly appeared behind a gate and fired about 30 rounds at us with an AK47 assault rifle.
Five rounds hit the ANA soldier in the leg and one of my IED searchers was hit in the right ankle.
I was shot in the right arm and received fragmentation injuries to my legs, as well as being hit in the head - thankfully my helmet saved me.
Over four-and-a-half hours in a very dangerous situation Lt Anrude successfully managed to extract his multiple back to safety, personally treating and then evacuating his injured Afghan comrade to the helicopter landing site.
Lt Anrude said:
Initially, when the adrenaline was pumping, it was quite exhilarating. It was only after I calmed down that my arm started hurting.
I was too busy concentrating on the incident and getting my lads out alive to give my injury much thought. It was only afterwards, on reflection, that I realised how dangerous the situation was and that I was actually quite scared.
Without trying to sound too cliched I didn’t feel scared at the time, I didn’t have time for that, as things were happening so quickly - the training just kicked in.
I did realise the danger we were in and the need to get out of there and to get medical attention to the ANA soldier. It was with help from a fellow Royal Marine, Lieutenant O’Toole, that our extraction from the area went smoothly.
Lieutenant O’Toole and his team provided fire support, covering our movement to safe ground. They also cleared a suitable helicopter landing area and made sure it was safe and secure.
The speed that we were medically treated, from on ground to Camp Bastion, was second-to-none and I know for a fact that if I’d not been wearing my personal protective equipment I would certainly not be alive today.
Praising the actions of Lt Anrude, Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, the Commanding Officer of 40 Commando, said:
Jack Anrude was hit in the arm, in the head and legs, yet he still carried on commanding his troops.
He personally evacuated the Afghan soldier by carrying him up a hill. It was an extraordinary act of courage and he did all that while he was wounded.
What the guys are going through here, it’s quite humbling to see how the young lads are taking it on.
It’s very frustrating at times but the guys are excelling and it’s testing their soldiering to the extreme.
Lt Anrude and his multiple have been working closely with the ANA, partnering them on patrols and interacting with the local population to bring security and development to the area.