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Sergeant Lloyd Harris - Cronulla

Walks along Cronulla beach with his wife and daughter will have to wait for a man who is serving with the Australian Defence Force in Afghanistan.

Sergeant Lloyd Harris is deployed on Operation Slipper where he is working as a mentor helping local instructors to develop the military skills of cadets at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy.

Lloyd said his role mentoring instructors at the academy was to guide them rather than take over the lessons

"We let them lead on it, all the ideas are their ideas," he said.

"As the mentors we only try to get them in the right direction because with training it is easy to get off track with changes to the program and timings."

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

Four months into an eight month trip, Lloyd and his team are mentoring the Afghan instructors in a new approach to teaching.

"We're trying to get them to do a lot more practical work, because nobody likes sitting in the classroom and these guys are definitely better for it," he said.

The first batch of cadets graduated from the academy in September and Lloyd mentored during a final counter insurgency exercise that featured civilian role players.

"When it came to dealing with the 'local population' the cadets were awesome," he said.

"They were just straight into it; they obviously know how to interact with their own people."

"I just thought they would launch straight into combat operations but they cleverly took their time to find out from the locals what was happening in the area.

"It was good to see how really hard the officer cadets worked during that three-week exercise."

Lloyd said he is working hard but sometimes his thoughts turn to home.

He has lived in Cronulla for the past seven years and can’t wait to see his wife Alex and daughter Blair.

"I love going along the beach with my little girl because it is such a great family beach," he said.

"After the beach we would always stop at the shops and get breakfast.

"I definitely miss that and can't wait to get home to do it again."

Lloyd has spent the last four months in Afghanistan and will have to wait another four months before getting back to Cronulla Beach.

He is one of about 420 Australian personnel who are based at Kabul and Kandahar, Afghanistan to support the ISAF train, advise and assist mission.