• Deploying to the MEAO - Day 19

    Wednesday 26 March 2014 by Alison Wishart.

    Day 19 - the streets of Kabul Today we went "outside the wire" again through the streets of Kabul. The insurgents keep thinking up new ways to attack enemy vehicles with IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), so much so that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is struggling to create new acronyms to keep up with their deviousness! However, I felt quite safe in our "up-armoured" 4WD, wearing my body armour, helmet and ballistic eye protection and …

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  • Deploying to the MEAO - Day 18

    Wednesday 26 March 2014 by Alison Wishart.

    Day 18 - not really here Today we arrived in the capital of Afghanistan: Kabul. We are staying at Kabul International Airfield - North (KAIA-N), home to defence personnel from many countries who have joined the fight against the Taliban. This is my second trip into Afghanistan – the first was to Tarin Kot (TK) but then we flew out to the UAE again. On neither occasion was my passport checked nor stamped. It’s as if the two military bases I …

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  • Deploying to the MEAO - Day 16

    Wednesday 26 March 2014 by Alison Wishart.

    Day 16 - Staying connected No modern soldier goes to war without a laptop. This was an observation that Sally Sara, the ABC's former foreign correspondent in Afghanistanmade. Sara reported that when some troops who were stationed at a remote patrol base and hadn't been able to have a shower for three months were offered the choice of having showers orinternet access installed, they chose internet. When you're sent on a 6-12 month deployment, …

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  • Deploying to the MEAO - Day 17

    Wednesday 26 March 2014 by Alison Wishart.

    Day 17 - Battle rhythmn Back in Australia,you'll hear the phrase: "work/life balance". Balancing the needs of children or significant others with the demands of a job whilerunning ahousehold can be a complex and sometimes stressfuljuggling act. Things get out of balance easily. On deployment, I've come to the conclusion thatthe equation is not "work/life" but "work= life". People work weekends. Thecycle of aweek is created by the Friday morning …

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  • ANZAC voices: Living Conditions in the Middle East

    Wednesday 26 March 2014 by Dianne Rutherford.

    Watering horses from a canvas trough, 1918.

    When rest of the AIF went to France in 1916, the bulk of the mounted forces remained behind in Egypt. Some men, feeling they were missing out on ‘the action’, left the Light Horse and joined the infantry serving on the Western Front. Those that remained continued fighting the Turkish Army, who threatened the Suez Canal in Egypt. After 1916 the threat to the canal was over and the British and Commonwealth forces gradually advanced into …

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  • Collection Detection #7

    Monday 24 March 2014 by John Holloway. 7 comments

    What is it? This is #7 in the Education team's Collection Detection series, where we look at an unusual collection item and the story behind it. Examine the object above and tell us what you think it is in the comments. We will post the answer and the full story next week!

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  • Deploying to the MEAO - Day 15

    Monday 24 March 2014 by Alison Wishart.

    Day 15 - Hurry up and wait Like parents who get their children's names muddled up, the three blokes I am travelling with often get each other's names confused. So now they are called G1, G2 and G3, and collectively, the G-force. I am known as 'Dead eye dick", because I shot 13 out of 13 rounds on target with the pistol.However, the enemy would probaby be on top of me before I managed to line up the shot and pull the trigger. As someone who …

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  • Deploying to the MEAO - Day 14

    Monday 24 March 2014 by Alison Wishart. 2 comments

    Day 14 - "an army marches on its stomach" Napoleon Bonepartewas spot on when he (is credited to have) said:"an army marches on its stomach", I haven't noticed a lot of marching going on around the base, but there's certainly a lot of eating! The food at the Aussie mess in Tarin Kotis excellent. There is fresh fruit and saladsat every meal - I tasted okra for the first time and pounced on the mangosteens(an exotic fruit even in Asia where they …

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  • Deploying to the MEAO - Day 13

    Monday 24 March 2014 by Alison Wishart.

    Day 13: colours of the battle zone The rain has cleared leaving the sky clear of dust.This providedsome spectacular views to the distant mountains beyond the Tarin Kot base. View from the balcony of my dormitory to the green zone and the mountains Just outside the base is the township of Tarin Kot and the"green zone". This is the fertile land in the river valleys where crops grow through the summer.It sounds peaceful, but it isn't. Tall crops …

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  • Deploying to the MEAO - Day 8

    Friday 21 March 2014 by Alison Wishart.

    Day 8 - Brown bears, angry birds and plane pulls Culture is a curious thing. We create it, shape it and mould it to suit ourselves andour circumstances. The military has its own culture, which is characterised by conformity.Everyone looks the same (women have to wear their hair in a bun, men must be clean shaven, no jewellry is permitted), dresses in the same uniformand speaks the same lingo of abbreviations and acronymns strung together with …

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