A six-month deployment seem like a long time, but for Private Bradley Dawson it’s a privilege to serve his country overseas.
The 21-year-old infantryman and ex-Bunbury local recently deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan on Operation Highroad where he provides force protection for the Australian Defence Force personnel embedded in the NATO Resolute Support headquarters.
Deployed with Force Protection Element 8, Private Dawson said he was enjoying the first deployment of his three-year career.
“I joined the Army because of the vast opportunities it provides and to be able to serve my country,” he said.
“Being deployed overseas has been a very rewarding experience and it is different to working at home.
“At home, we train in a variety of roles, however here we have one main focus, which is to provide force protection for Australians working in the Kabul province.”
Deploying as part of a NATO mission and working alongside partner nations presented some obstacles for Private Dawson.
“Getting around the language barrier among the different nationalities and learning how the Afghan’s do things were among the challenges I’ve faced so far,” he said.
“But being able to provide force protection to those who need it was a key achievement.
“Without force protection, our personnel wouldn’t have the same peace of mind when they are conducting key-leadership engagements with their counterparts.
“Being deployed is exciting, interesting, but most of all, it’s a privilege to be able to serve my country overseas.”
When he returns to Australia early next year, Private Dawson said he was looking forward to seeing his girlfriend Kristen.
“I’m also looking forward to catching up with my family in Bunbury and my mates at home in Townsville.”
ADF personnel deployed on Operation Highroad are working as part of the international community to provide long-term support to the Government of Afghanistan.