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Army November 10, 2011
By LS Paul Berry
TUCKED away in the ware-
house precinct of the ADF's
Middle East headquarters, a new
state-of-the-art medical storage
facility is buzzing with activity.
Pharmacist Flt-Lt Perlon
Leung is overseeing the space
taking shape, as medical stores
are ordered, stocked and redis-
tributed across the MEAO.
The pharmacist has been a
permanent fixture in the MEAO
for 10 months and the ADF has
quickly realised the capability
pharmacists bring to the fight; in
military speak they are a force
Flt-Lt Leung, the second phar-
macist to deploy into theatre, said
having the new facility and sub-
ject matter expert provided a first
port of call for medical demands
and health logistics to support the
forward medical teams.
"It is definitely a game chang-
er because there are different
health logistics implications in
supporting a mentoring force ver-
sus humanitarian aid, so the setup
is quite different. What remains
the same is the dedication to our
patients," Flt-Lt Leung said.
Although pharmacists have
deployed to ADF humanitarian
aid missions such as Operation
Pakistan Assist II, this is their
first foray into a warlike opera-
"We realised there needed to
be a subject matter expert to be
the interpreter between the sup-
Meds on demand
ply chain and the medical teams,
because we wanted to let them
focus on performing their clinical
role to support the mission."
"The regularity of having a
pharmacist here will also provide
training to deployed members in
sustaining the medical effort."
Deployed within the Force
Support Unit, Flt-Lt Leung ser-
vices all ADF medical facilities
throughout the MEAO, commu-
nicating at least weekly with the
in-theatre medical teams.
"We are able to give them
stores more rapidly than before,
leading to better demand satisfac-
tion and guiding the needs of the
medical teams and their patients
with less frustration.
"It's rare for a pharmacist to
"I'm very lucky to be here
with the Force Support Unit team
getting my stores into country and
on to the medical teams."
By Capt Lacey Western
PERSONNEL deployed to the Middle East have
not let distance stop them from participating in the
Australian Cancer Council's annual Relay for Life.
This year's Relay for Life was held in gymnasi-
ums across the MEAO, with participants raising more
than $3500 in donations for the Cancer Council.
Event organiser Lt Elly Poyntz, FSU 5, said the
level of support and participation reflected how many
people felt personally affected by cancer.
"The response was overwhelming; volunteers and
participants willingly gave up their time, money and
sweat," she said.
Al Minhad Air Base participants and supporters
were treated to a "fashions on the treadmill" parade
and a strong man/woman competition. The party
atmosphere was fuelled by sports drinks, home-made
biscuits and an impromptu live band and DJ that
played throughout the 16-hour relay.
Each year the Cancer Council Relay for Life rais-
es about $14m to fund cancer research and to offer
those affected by cancer a chance to celebrate survi-
vors, remember loved ones and fight the disease.
Donations can be made through the Relay for Life website at
Troops run to
Team effort: AMAB personnel support Relay for Life
runners at the base gym. Photo by PO Damian Pawlenko
Ready to ship: MEAO pharmacist Flt-Lt Perlon Leung prepares medical stores to send from Al
Minhad Airbase into Afghanistan.
Photo by LS Paul Berry
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