In the deserts of the Middle East, where the temperatures are regularly above 40 degrees, Cameron Sheridan is missing playing his beloved AFL footy and the cooler climate of Zeehan in Tasmania where he grew up.
Currently deployed to the Air Task Group of Operation OKRA, at just 25 years of age, Flying Officer Sheridan is responsible for all the weapon systems on board the F/A-18A Hornet aircraft currently conducting strike missions in support of the Iraqi Security Forces.
"In my current position I am the officer in charge of a team of 25 technical personnel who specialise in aircraft life support, the rectification and preparation of aircraft and associated weapons systems and the servicing of alternate mission equipment," Cameron said.
"Ultimately I am responsible to Commander Air Task Group for ensuring that the Hornet aircraft are able to employ guided weapons in support of Operation OKRA.
"It's a huge responsibility for someone my age, and it's definitely not the kind of responsibility you would be given in any other career so early, but I feel that the ADF have trained me well for the role.
After leaving Elizabeth College in North Hobart Cameron entered the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) to undertake an Engineering degree
He said the four-year program also included leadership and management training.
"It has been an unbelievable experience being able to put my training into real-life operations and I am grateful for the opportunities I've had here on deployment," Cameron said.
"Being able to contribute to and influence a matter that is so important to Australia and the Iraqi people has been immensely rewarding."
Being in the Middle East is no barrier to further study, and Cameron is continuing to work on his Masters of Engineering through ADFA, specialising in Weapons and Ordnance.
Growing up on the West Coast of Tasmania, Cameron spent countless hours of his childhood doing things that many kids don't get the opportunity to do anymore.
"As kids we spent so much time building cubbies located several kilometres deep into the bush, camping in unfamiliar locations, playing 1,2,3, Spotlight with the entire town as the boundary," he said.
"It was an incredibly unique place to grow up, when I lived there everybody knew everybody.
"I think that was one of the appeals of the Air Force, it has a similar feel here on operations where everyone knows everyone and you make them your second family."
Cameron is looking forward to heading back home to Australia to his beautiful girlfriend Samantha and his two puppies Arty and Pascal.
"Besides spending time with family and friends, I'm really looking forward to pulling on my footy boots and getting stuck into the AFL season with my local club the Newcastle City Blues –and drinking real coffee!," he said.
The Air Task Group of Operation OKRA is operating at the request of the Iraqi Government to support the Iraqi Security Forces retake their country back from the Daesh terror threat.