Nine British soldiers have received the U.S. Army Commendation Medal this afternoon, in recognition for their quick actions during a green-on-blue attack in Afghanistan.
In June 2014, a briefing was taking place in a courtyard at the British-run Afghan National Army Officer Academy, just outside Kabul. Suddenly, a man wearing an Afghan National Army uniform opened fire from just a few metres away. In just twenty seconds, he'd fired thirty rounds into the small crowd.
It was a shocking, daylight attack during a routine site visit by US officers. Major General Harold Greene was killed in the attack, the highest ranking US officer to be killed in 13 years of war in Afghanistan.
The assailant was also killed, with no conclusive explanation given for his actions. Fifteen other troops were injured, including Afghan officers, a British Captain and a German Brigadier General.
The Close Protection Team that day included nine British soldiers from the Royal Military Police. As soon as the shooting started they sprang into action. Cpl Davis-Smith was shot in the arm as he ran to protect Major General Bathurst. Three others, including the team leader Sgt Ford, began giving life-saving first aid to Captain Hutton, who was shot several times.
The US Army Commendation Medal recognises their actions that day, along with their heroic and meritorious service.