Hayley Neville admits commemorating Anzac Day in Kandahar, Afghanistan is about as far as you can get from Copacabana on the New South Wales Central Coast.
Corporal Neville, 24, is an Australian Army Postal Operator located at Camp Baker, Kandahar Air Field, a vast multi-national complex in Southern Afghanistan where she will commemorate the dawn service at Camp BAKER in Kandahar with about 250 other Australian personnel.
She said her job kept her extremely busy as she provides the services of an Australia Post outlet in Afghanistan for all deployed members at Camp Baker.
“This is my first deployment overseas and as the ‘Postie’ everybody is always happy to see me pop into their office with boxes from home – it puts a smile on their face,” she said.
“My job is to receive and dispatch mail to and from Australia, sell Australia Post stock and deliver mail to personnel here in Kandahar.
“It’s a privilege to deploy and an honour to be here for a dawn service on Anzac Day.
“My older brother Matthew deployed to Tarin Kot in 2010 as an infantry soldier and my twin sister Kassie deployed to Kabul as an up-armoured vehicle driver in 2011-12. Now it’s my turn!”
The former Kincumber High School student is looking forward to returning to Australia to purchase a home with her partner Martin Fealy and to catch up with her family and friends once her deployment is completed.
Following the completion of Australia’s mission in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province last year, Australia’s efforts have shifted to a nationally-oriented mission throughout 2014, providing training and advisory support to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
Around 400 ADF personnel will continue to work in Afghanistan in 2014 through training and advising the ANSF in both Kabul and Kandahar.
Approximately 800 personnel are based within the broader Middle East Area of Operations, including operations the maritime security environment.