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Thomas Murdock - Wahroonga

Local Two Wells resident Thomas Murdock, 54, is doing his country proud; he is currently deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan on Operation Highroad.

FLTLT Murdock joined the Air Force in 1982.

"It provided an opportunity to broaden my outlook on life and to travel," he said.

Before joining the Air Force he was employed as an assistant car spare parts manager in Hornsby, NSW.

He completed his final two years of high school at St Leo's College, Wahroonga NSW.

"I had an opportunity to study a Graduate Certificate in Engineering (Test and Evaluation) at the University of Adelaide," FLTLT Murdock said.

He is currently embedded with the Australian Defence Force coalition partners at Train, Advise, Assist Command – Air (TAAC-Air).

"My role is to assist key Afghan Air Force (AAF) staff in the Air-to-Ground Integration," he said.

"The current focus of my role is to develop and provide Afghan Terminal Air Coordinator training."

This is his second operational deployment and he has found this deployment more challenging and rewarding as TAAC-Air is building a solid foundation for a sustainable and formidable AAF.

FLTLT Murdock said his main challenges were the cultural and language barriers.

"Nevertheless, once an open and frank friendship has been established the language is the only thing that stands in the way," FLTLT Murdock said.

"However, during teaching and mentoring we are accompanied by a professional and enthusiastic interpreter, so this barrier also diminishes."

He loves the dynamic nature of the job, coupled with the friendships developed with the coalition partners and the AAF mentees.

"Seeing the achievements of the Afghan Air Force, during training (both academics and practical) and mentoring them to hone their skills is ever so rewarding," FLTLT Murdock said.

His wife, Lisa is currently working at Defence Science and Technology Group as the executive assistant to the Chief of Land Division.

They have three boys, Alexander, Nicholas and Lachlan.

FLTLT Murdock said his time in the Air Force has been challenging and rewarding.

"It is the challenges that have developed me as a team player, a follower and a leader," he said.

"I fully recommend any eligible person to consider employment in the Air Force to aspire and achieve their goals and dreams."

Around 270 personnel from the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Air Force and Defence civilians are deployed on Operation HIGHROAD as part of Australia's commitment to the NATO led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.