FLYING Officer Matthew Sturgiss says advising senior Afghan Air Force logistics officers in Kabul is a long way from managing the No. 382 Squadron warehouse at RAAF Base Amberley, located southwest of Brisbane.
It's even further from his childhood in Nowra where he grew up.
Embedded as the Supply Adviser within the NATO-led coalition at Train, Advise, Assist Command – Air (TAAC-Air), FLGOFF Sturgiss advises the Afghan Air Force (AAF) 1st Logistics Squadron.
He supervises all of the Air Force's Kabul warehouses and is the first line of supply for all AAF units across Afghanistan.
"I help them coordinate their incoming provisions and support with logistics planning," FLGOFF Sturgiss said.
"My time at 382 SQN helped prepare me for this, as I planned for three exercises in my first 18 months there."
FLGOFF Sturgiss said communication is the most important part of his relationship with the AAF logistics officers.
"Good communication is essential for my job here," he said.
"It can be challenging advising Lieutenant Colonels sometimes as a junior officer.
"But they are welcoming, they take my advice and they really help us to help them."
FLGOFF Sturgiss spends four days a week with the AAF logistics team, meeting with the officer-in-charge to discuss everything from daily issues to long-term goals and providing support to the warehouse team.
Understanding the AAF logistics process and supporting them to find improvements can be challenging but FLGOFF Sturgiss has enjoyed the experience.
"They have their own way of doing things and you just need to work with them" FLGOFF Sturgiss said.
"I'm trying to work out how it will work best for them.
"They also have challenges we don’t face at home - they don't always have power 24 hours a day and their supply system is still paper-based.
"It has been so rewarding to see the improvement in how they approach logistics.
"Their system is simple but it will work for them."
The Australian personnel at TAAC-Air are deployed to Afghanistan under Operation Highroad as part of Joint Task Force 633.