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Corporal Patrick Porter - Woodford

Woodford local Patrick Porter is following a family tradition of service with the Army cavalry regiment and is putting his skills to the test in Afghanistan.

But Army cavalryman and former Woodford High student, Trooper Patrick Porter had slightly different aspirations.

"My dad was cav (cavalry), my uncle was cav and I was going to go infantry but Army Recruiting said I was too nice," Patrick said.

"But that was ok, my old man said he loved it in cav and had a really good time."

Patrick is part of Joint Task Force 633 which commands Australia’s military involvement in the Middle East.

He commands a Cavalry section consisting of four Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles that transport soldiers working at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy near the capitol of Kabul.

Patrick said part of his responsibility is guarding and protecting Australian soldiers.

"I'm standing up behind the gun, '’ve got good situational awareness, I can control the section and I can get rounds on target quickly if it ever comes to that," he said.

"But it's nice when you're drive through town and you get thumbs ups and waves from the kids."

After last deploying to Afghanistan in 2008, Patrick said he thinks his mum would appreciate the lower threat level on this deployment, compared to his first trip in 2008.

"Dad’s happy and mum just wants me to be safe," he said.

"If she knew what this trip was like she'd be a lot happier than during my first trip."

Patrick's parents Stephen and Petrina still live in Woodford where Patrick visits whenever he gets leave from the army.

"We lived just outside of town so I really miss the farm," he said. 

"When I visit Woodford I drop into the local bowls club where I worked for a while, before joining the army."

Patrick has spent about two months in Afghanistan and is due back in Australia later this year.

There are currently about 420 Australian personnel who are based at Kabul and Kandahar, Afghanistan to support the ISAF train, advise and assist mission.