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Jason Mitchell - Carlingford

CARLINGFORD lad and Army Musician Jason Mitchell wailed-out a big sound on the saxophone as part of a Forces Entertainment Tour playing shows for Aussie troops in the Middle East Region from October 22-27.

Jas played sax with a band of Army musicians who backed two up-and-coming female singers playing shows to entertain Australian troops deployed on operations.

"Last time I came (to Afghanistan) was as the sound technician but I felt all I wanted to do was come back and have the chance to play," he said.

"If they’ve seen you perform it allows people to easily form a relationship with you.

"Then you can talk to people and get little better understanding of what their deployment has been like. Nine times out of 10 people are saying how brilliant we are and they have a new appreciation for what we do."

After finishing Carlingford High in 2005, Jas, now 27, joined the Army Reserve while studying a music degree at Newcastle University.

He later joined the Army full-time and has been to places including East Timor, Switzerland and France.

"I've been fortunate with trips I’ve seen all round Australia and some of the world," he said.

"I love the lifestyle and the variety of our work in the job."

Parents Wendy and Wane still live in Carlingford and are very proud of their son.

"They have a lot of respect for what I do," he said. "They know we’re in capable hands when we come over here.

"We're in a war zone but we’re not being put in radical situations and we’re here for the least amount of time possible though I tell them more about a trip when it's over."

Jas picked-up a saxophone at the end of primary school and has seen his musical influence evolve over time.

"I have a lot of influence from funk, reggae and rock," he said.

"As a sax player you need to know a lot of styles and do what you can across all of them."

Australian entertainers and Australian Army musicians performed for deployed personnel in the Middle East Region (MER) during a Forces Entertainment Tour from October 22-27.

The tour performed to Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel deployed to Australia’s main base in the MER then played to troops deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Slipper.

The tour featured Australian singers Jade Holland and Virginia Lillye who were backed by Army musicians from the First Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment.

Adam Rozenbachs entertained the crowds with his stand-up comedy and model Allira Cohrs was the MC for the events.