Thursday, November 12, 2009

Australian dog found alive after going MIA in Afghanistan for over a year

Sarbi's trainer and handler tells me that he is very pleased that she has been found after being missing for so long.

He says "
To all the people that knew or knew of Sarbi. After 13 and a half months in captivity in Afghanistan, she has been found and recovered by coalition forces. She has been given a clean bill of health by the vets over there and we are now in the process of trying to bring her home."

Sarbi's handler also shares with me how Sarbi was lost.
"During the ambush i was hit by RPG's at 2 different times and shot in the hip. The first Rpg broke the clip that attached Sarbi to my body armour. Sarbi ran around with us for the 4 hours of the fire fight, but right at the end I was hit by 2 RPG's at the samee time and blown off the HUMVEE."

"I couldn't catch back up to the vehicle and was out in the open so ran down to the road and jumped in a hole to catch my breath and Sarbi came over to me but as I was about to grab her a heavy machine gun fired over the top of us and she ducked away again."

"The last vehicle was coming up so I had to jump on, at that stage there was 9 Aussies wounded, 2 criticaly and 4 seriously and 1 dead american." That's when Sarbi was lost. Sarbi is a Labradore cross Newfoundland.
All the news articles can correct the spelling of her name it is SARBI! Get it right !

Written By Kirsten Smit


Article shared From : Department of Defence - Media Release

An Australian Special Forces Explosive Detection Dog has been found alive and well almost fourteen months after going missing in action (MIA) in Afghanistan. “Sabi” was recovered by a US Soldier at an isolated patrol base in north-eastern Oruzgan last week.
The black Labrador was trained to counter the threat posed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Oruzgan province.
Sabi was declared MIA in September 2008 during the same battle with the Taliban in which SAS Trooper Mark Donaldson won his Victoria Cross. Sabi was present with her handler when their combined Australian, US and Afghan National Army convoy was ambushed by a numerically superior, well-sited and prepared insurgent force. Nine Australian soldiers, including Sabi’s handler, were wounded during the engagement.
The US soldier who recovered her and who can be identified only by his first name, John, was aware his Australian Special Forces mates were missing one of their explosive detection dogs.
He said it was immediately obvious that Sabi was no ordinary canine. “I took the dog and gave it some commands it understood.”
John thanked the man who was with Sabi and shook his hand.
Sabi spent more than a year in the desolate south of Afghanistan. Repeated attempts were made by the Special Operations Task Group to discover Sabi’s fate. Sabi was flown to Tarin Kowt to be reunited with one of her Australian Special Forces trainers.
The Australian trainer knew instantly it was Sabi.
“I nudged a tennis ball to her with my foot and she took it straight away. It’s a game we used to play over and over during her training,” the trainer said. “It’s amazing, just incredible, to have her back.”
Currently in the United Kingdom after meeting Her Majesty the Queen, Trooper Mark Donaldson said Sabi’s return closed a chapter of their shared history.
“She’s the last piece of the puzzle,” Trooper Donaldson said. “Having Sabi back gives some closure for the handler and the rest of us that served with her in 2008. It’s a fantastic morale booster for the guys.”
At the time of her disappearance Sabi was coming to the end of her second tour of duty in Afghanistan, having previously deployed to Oruzgan in 2007.
Sabi had also deployed with the Incident Response Regiment during the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006.

Sabi will now undergo a period of quarantine before a decision can be made about the timing of her return to Australia. A veterinary assessment of Sabi’s exposure to diseases has yet to be completed. It is hoped the tests will prove negative and Sabi can return to Australia.


Sabi the Explosive Detection Dog and her handler from the Reconstruction Task Force, take a rest in the shade after a long days' work in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan.

Sabi during her training at the School of Military Engineering and prior to her first operational deployment in 2006 for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.



Digger dog found after Afghan adventure - ABC NEWS

Handler never gave up on lost army dog - ABC NEWS



1 comment:

  1. I was so moved by the story of Sabi the Australian bomb-sniffing dog that was found in Afghanistan after 14 months of wandering after fleeing a "firefight"...I decided to write a little ditty for her. I hope you enjoy it. I suppose it is mushy "doggerel"..I just can't help myself...
    In a frightened field of conflict
    In a land of heat and clay
    An Aussie pooch named Sabi
    got scared .... and ran away
    Sabi was used to dynamite
    She knew its acrid stink
    But with bombs and bullets flying
    She scarce had chance to think
    For many months she wandered
    through hostile days and nights
    She missed her Aussie brothers
    who had to stay and fight
    A yankee soldier found her
    and knew her story bold
    He returned her to her brothers
    now no more desert cold!
    Just Peace and Food and Loving pats
    and perhaps a medal gold!
    (Andy Mathisen Nov 12th, 2009)