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Joel Watt - Coonabarabran

Coonabarabran lad Private (Pte) Joel Watt is enjoying a chameleon career in the Australian Army.

Now deployed in the Middle East, the former Binnaway sharks player is on his second operational deployment and is on his second career during his second time in the Army.

Having always wanted to join the Army, Pte Watt initially enlisted in 2005, when he was 17-years-old, as an artilleryman.

"I served for nearly four years with 8/12 Medium [Artillery] Regiment, which included a deployment in 2006 with the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands," he said.

"After that I decided to take a break from military life.

"I reenlisted in 2013, but this time I chose a career as a marine specialist with the Royal Australian Corps of Transport and I am now based in Townsville with the 10th Force Support Battalion working with Army watercraft.

"As a marine specialist I spend a lot of time on the water working with the Navy and I get to see a lot of interesting places."

His latest deployment has seen the chameleon soldier replace his rudder with a steering wheel, however being also trained as a military vehicle driver means he took to his new role like a duck to land.

"My role in the Middle East is to assist with the movements of troops and equipment for the Force Support Element (FSE)," he said.

FSE provides combat service support and in-theatre induction training for Australian Defence Force personnel in the Middle East region under Operation Accordion, the operational name for the Australian headquarters in the Middle East which overseas and supplies the various Australian tasks group operating throughout the region.

FSE services include supply, maintenance, transportation and postal, all required by soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen in-theatre to continue their missions.

This requires FSE personnel to operate across the region in a network of detachments, controlled by their headquarters staff based at Australia's main support base in the Middle East.

Pte Watt said he was proud to be a part of Operation Accordion and to help people and nations in need.

"The best part of the deployment is getting the job done and ensuring the critical mission-essential stores are delivered so our people can continue their missions," he said.

While his job can be arduous and involve long hours, Pte Watt said home is never far from his mind.

"I am missing my partner Rhianna and our daughters Alyssa-Jayne and Kaylee-Grace, but I try to speak to them as much as I can," he said.

"I am definitely looking forward to having some leave soon and going to Townsville to catch up with them.

"I also have a lot of friends in Coonabarabran and I try to get back there as much as I can, hopefully I will catch up with them at the Royal Hotel."