New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan have been praised for their quick thinking and ingenuity after towing a disabled US helicopter to safety with a light armoured vehicle.
The US army Apache helicopter had to land in an exposed position in Bamyan last month after its engines were damaged by debris.
The NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team manufactured a tow bar and towed the helicopter into the safety of the Kiwi base.
US maintenance crew chief sergeant Judy Beltowski, from the army’s 10th Mountain Division, praised the Kiwis’ efforts, saying she had never seen that level of craftsmanship from a maintenance team before.
“Whatever we needed the NZPRT provided, and if they didn’t have it, they made it,” she said.
Sergeant George Alexander from the NZPRT guided the vehicle as it slowly pulled the eight tonne helicopter around a corner, across the ditch and up the hill into the New Zealand base.
The New Zealand crew led a team comprising of US Army air and maintenance crews, NZPRT and US personnel.
It took two days to fully repair the helicopter before it could return to its home base.
That’s Kiwis for you. Always doing more with less!