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Readiness the key to mission

Australia's operational redesign in the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) means little has changed for Captain James Georgiadis who ensures personnel are ready to deploy to any location across the AO.

Captain Georgiadis, 29, an infantry officer originally from Mascot in Sydney is deployed as part of Force Support Unit-9 based at Camp Baird in the UAE as Operation ACCORDION’s Reception, Staging, On-Forwarding and Integration (RSO&I) course manager.

"It is my job to make sure people are ready and their skills have been tested before they head into their positions whether that is Afghanistan, here at Camp Baird or other areas across the broader Middle East," he said.

"It’s important that people are competent and confident before they leave here to start doing their job and our role is a critical function of making sure that happens."

The RSO&I process is a key support function of ADF's Operations

Operation ACCORDION includes all personnel directly supporting operations including Operation SLIPPER in Afghanistan  and Operation MANITOU in the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, and Indian Ocean.

"Realistically, my role has not changed as we continue to apply the final stage of mission preparation for personnel with everything from cultural briefings and threats to the life-saving skills of care of the battle casualty and weapons proficiency.

"The proficiency does not just stop at the course and we continue to adapt to ensure the course remains relevant."

Part of that adaptive process recently included a special familiarisation of the M4 family of weapons for personnel deploying into Afghanistan.

"There are about 400 Australian personnel in Afghanistan, with some embedded in ISAF Headquarters positions.

"We held a familiarisation recently with some of the embeds who were heading in so that they could gain an understanding of the M-4/M-16 rifle which is the type used by US Forces and a large number of ISAF partners.

"The familiarisation shows people how to make the weapon safe and operate it effectively should a dangerous scenario present itself.

"Afghanistan is still a dangerous place and we have to be prepared for a wide range of contingencies."