Australian Story screening Monday 23rd and Monday 30th May at 8pm
This exclusive two-part program gives a powerful insight into one of the most controversial cases in Australian military history.
At the centre of this compelling story is Dave, a highly skilled commando in the Army Reserve.
In February 2009, whilst on a capture-or-kill mission looking for Taliban, his unit raided a family compound in the middle of the night in Afghanistan. Six people, including five children, were killed.
Now for the first time, Dave and other members of the unit give their account of the night and its aftermath to Australian Story.
“The intelligence we received was of varying quality. Sometimes it was very, very good, and other times it felt like they were throwing a dart at a map.” – Geoff Evans, fmr Commando
“I saw a male combatant with an AK-47, pointing his rifle from the shoulder at the door that my team members were about to enter. I shot him.” – Corporal W, fmr Commando
“When you realise you’ve killed children um devastating doesn’t even begin to describe it, and I feel like I can’t fix it and I can’t atone for it. I can’t do anything to undo the damage that was done.” – Dave, fmr Commando
Dave and another soldier were subsequently charged with manslaughter of the five children and faced the possibility of a court martial and 20 years in prison. These charges were later dismissed.
Since then, details of the operation have been shrouded in secrecy.
What happened has been a tragedy for everyone – for Dave, his fellow commandos and – most of all – for the Afghan families who lost so much.
Producers: Sharon Davis & Helen Grasswill.