Home' Army News : May 10th 2012 Contents Army May 4, 2012
Cpl Mark Doran
WHEN government aid agencies,
foreign affairs officials and build-
ing project coordinators need to
go outside the wire in Uruzgan
province, the Other Government
Agency (OGA) Platoon provides
Part of the Provincial
Reconstruction Team at
Multinational Base Tarin Kot, the
platoon's main role is to provide
security for civilians from govern-
ment agencies such as AusAID
and members of the Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The platoon also provides secu-
rity to US-led civil affairs missions
and building projects coordinated by
the Australian-managed works team.
OGA Platoon is made up of
Brisbane-based soldiers from
8/9RAR, with a headquarters, three
infantry sections, an engineer sec-
tion and a cavalry patrol with two
Section 2IC LCpl Matthew
Sharp described Afghanistan as a
country most people didn't get to go
to and a deployment every infantry
"Because of our role in OGA,
which is a lot different from the
guys at the patrol bases, we get to
see first hand the progress we are
making in Uruzgan, including sim-
ple things like the roads being sur-
faced," he said.
"Having deployed to East Timor
twice has helped me learn about
dealing with new cultures and it
is not as dangerous here as people
make it out to be.
"Coming across an improvised
explosive device would be shocking
to most people, but because of our
training we are well prepared to deal
Pte Jordan Summers said the
On the front
One platoon sees Afghan developments on a daily basis
highlight of his deployment was get-
ting out of the base and seeing the
"I have travelled before, but the
Afghans have a totally different out-
look on life and the main challenges
are the cultural differences and the
language, so we are lucky to have
linguists and interpreters in our pla-
toon," he said.
"Four months into my deploy-
ment I am missing my wife, Celine,
and my daughter, Zoe, who will be
to call them once a week and check
everything is all right.
"After only four months we
are seeing a lot of changes and
improvements in Uruzgan, such
as the building of the Sajawul
"It has been fantastic to have a
part in helping the Afghan people
and making their life a lot easier."
Inner cordon: Pte Nikau Pieters, of OGA Platoon, provides security
near the Sajawul Crossing in Uruzgan.
Meet the locals: Pte Scott Ramsdale chats with children during a site
inspection at the Tarin Kot Hospital.
Pathfinder: Spr Ben Johnstone clears a path near the Sajawul Crossing during
a security patrol.
(13 72 58)
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