Joel Fitzgibbon’s admission that there is no immediate solution to the problem of insufficient helicopters at Tarin Kowt to evacuate injured Australian or allied personnel is deeply alarming.

Sources based in Tarin Kowt first raised this issue with Crikey several weeks ago and again this week after the evacuation of injured SAS personnel was delayed by more than five hours when an aero-medical evacuation helicopter from Tarin Kowt crash-landed in a dust storm. There was no back-up due to dust storms at Kandahar.