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Army June 7, 2012
Sgt Mick Davis
ABC journalist Thom Cookes captured the day-
to-day of Operation Slipper while embedded with
MTF 4 troops in Afghanistan last month.
On his sixth embed in Afghanistan, the expe-
rienced foreign correspondent joined Australian
soldiers in the Tangi Valley.
He covered several major activities, including
a patrol in the village of Kakarak, a community
shura and an Afghan National Army-led vehicle
Mr Cookes operates alone, filming, reporting
and producing stories without a support crew.
He is pictured here joining Australian troops
about to board a US Army Black Hawk.
Cpl Mark Doran
MILITARY aircraft are constantly fly-
ing in and out of Multinational Base
Tarin Kot, which keeps the FSU 6
cargo specialists on their toes.
The FSU 6 team at Tarin Kot consists
of two terminal operators, one air dis-
patcher and two drivers who are respon-
sible for receiving all air freight from
civilian and military aircraft and deliver-
ing it to support Australian units.
A quiet week at the base can include
up to seven or eight aircraft delivering
freight by Globemaster, Hercules and
Chinook, with up to 30,000lbs of cargo
received or dispatched each day.
LCpl Scott Callery is a cargo special-
ist from 10FSB on his first deployment to
Afghanistan. He said arriving in country
was a bit surreal at first, but it was mostly
what he expected.
"The first day you get here you don't
know where everything is and you think
'oh my God, we are in a war zone',"
LCpl Callery said.
"I am enjoying it because we are
doing our job for real and being busy is
good as it makes the days go faster.
"Coalition helicopters are constantly
flying around the base and it was awe-
some watching a Globemaster land here
All freight arriving in Afghanistan is
scanned and accounted for by the cargo
visibility system, which allows customers
to track their packages from Australia.
LCpl Callery said on some days the
aircraft just kept coming.
"As soon as the freight comes in
we try to deliver it as fast as possible
to avoid congestion in the terminal," he
"There are no real set work hours. If
an aircraft comes in, then there is work
roll with the punches.
"I was just married in December and
while I am deployed my wife, Kate, is
living near her family and friends in
"So even though I have just arrived, I
am already counting down the days."
Cargo specialists handle tonnes every day
Heavy lifting: LCpl Scott Callery is a cargo specialist from 10FSB on his first
deployment to Afghanistan.
Photo by Cpl Mark Doran
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