A pair of Australian medics have been hailed for the work they have done in providing critical care to wounded coalition soldiers during the March rocket attacks on their base in Iraq.

Commander of Australian and New Zealand personnel in Iraq as part of Task Group Taji 10 (TGT-X) Colonel Nick Foxall praised the heroism of Australian Army medics Corporal Sarah Nixon and Corporal Ashlee Liversedge following the attacks, which saw several rockets fired by Iranian-backed militias land inside Camp Taji.

The attacks resulted in the deaths of three coalition members, with many more wounded.

(l-r) Task Group Taji Ten Medical Technicians Corporal Ashlee Liversedge and Corporal Ashlee Liversedge in the Middle East. (Photo © Commonwealth of Australia)

Reflecting on the night’s events, Corporal Nixon recalled, “We heard a round hit close. It felt like it was just 50m away – it was loud, the building shook, we hit the ground and put on our body armour,”

“Other camp Taji medical staff ran in and said to expect casualties.”

Corporals Nixon and Liversedge had to quickly run to a nearby tent to grab medical stores and prepare the resuscitation room while rockets continued to hit Camp Taji.

For almost two hours, the casualty numbers grew and medical staff prioritised treatment based on those with major injuries, minor shrapnel wounds and concussions, with both corporals providing critical medical support to the wounded.

TGT-X medical staff worked through the night to treat the wounded coalition personnel, a few of which had to be evacuated by helicopter for further treatment in Baghdad.

“Corporal Nixon and Corporal Liversedge showed exceptional care and courage during both attacks. The actions of these two soldiers almost certainly saved the lives of the injured coalition members,” Colonel Foxall said.

“They had only been in-country for a short time when they were called upon to do their job, and in doing so displayed nothing but the highest of values when representing the Australian and New Zealand Task Group.”

Task Group Taji is part of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, a coalition of more than 30 nations whose role is mentoring, advising and assisting regional security forces and build their capacity to defeat the remnants of Daesh (ISIS).

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Kym Bergmann
Kym Bergmann is the editor for Asia Pacific Defence Reporter (APDR) and Defence Review Asia (DRA). He has more than 25 years of experience in journalism and the defence industry. After graduating with honours from the Australian National University, he joined Capital 7 television, holding several positions including foreign news editor and chief political correspondent. During that time he also wrote for Business Review Weekly, undertaking analysis of various defence matters.After two years on the staff of a federal minister, he moved to the defence industry and held senior positions in several companies, including Blohm+Voss, Thales, Celsius and Saab. In 1997 he was one of two Australians selected for the Thomson CSF 'Preparation for Senior Management' MBA course. He has also worked as a consultant for a number of companies including Raytheon, Tenix and others. He has served on the boards of Thomson Sintra Pacific and Saab Pacific.


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