Corporal Benjamin Roberts-Smith VC, MG, of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment, was awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia for his conduct in a Special Operations Task Force helicopter assault into Tizak, Kandahar Province, Southern Afghanistan, in June 2010. The mission was to capture or kill a senior Taliban commander
Immediately after insertion, the troop was engaged by heavy machine gun and rocket propelled grenade fire from multiple dominating positions. Two soldiers were wounded. Roberts-Smith and his patrol managed to get to within 40 metres of the enemy positions, until the weight of enemy fire pinned them down.
Still under fire, Roberts-Smith managed to reach a small structure giving (minimal) cover, and killed an insurgent at close range, as he was about to attack the patrol.
With the members of his patrol still pinned down by the three enemy machine gun positions, Roberts-Smith then exposed his own position, to draw fire away from his patrol, which enabled them to bring fire to bear against the enemy.
His actions enabled his Patrol Commander to throw a grenade and silence one of the machine guns. Seizing the advantage, Roberts-Smith, with total disregard for his own safety, stormed the enemy position, killing the other two machine gunners.
His act of valour enabled his patrol to break-in to the enemy position and to lift the weight of fire from the remainder of the troops still pinned down by the machine gun fire.
He then continued to assault enemy positions in depth, during which he and another patrol member engaged and killed further enemy.