Memories of growing up on the beaches around Bensville, near Gosford, now seem very distant for 23 year old Kane Ryan, who is in the Middle East, bracing for Christmas away from home.
Able Seaman Kane Ryan is part of a large Royal Australian Navy contingent at Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.
Ryan has the important job of providing technical support to more than 1000 military members of the US-led coalition.
“My Job involves working at the Communications and Information Helpdesk, looking after users and over 1000 workstations and more than 100 printers all connecting to servers,” he said.
“I also take helpdesk calls resolving a range of different IT issues.”
Kane required two months of pre-deployment training before he could join the joint task force in the Middle East.
“Conducting the training really opened my eyes to the threats that are involved, especially in Afghanistan, like the Improvised Explosive Devices and the other types of dangers that exist up here,” Able Seaman Ryan said.
Kane has come a long way since leaving Gosford and joining the RAN.
At 15, Kane worked at the local Bi-Lo Supermarket for two-years when he decided to the Navy. He also sacrificed what might have been a promising tennis career after achieving a national ranking.
Now, surrounded by a significant amount of military communications equipment, Kane says it’s the water that he misses most about home.
“I grew up on the Central Coast and spent most of my life there, so I have always been around the beach. I’ve also got a large group of friends, which I’m looking forward to catching up with.
As for his list of priorities when he gets home.
“It’s pretty straightforward, I want to see my family, my friends, relax and have some time off,” Kane said.
Kane is no stranger to long periods away from home on deployments, in 2010 he was stationed aboard HMAS Parramatta for a six month tour of the Arabian Gulf as part of Operation Slipper’s Maritime component.
“The Navy definitely does its part up here, but now I’m on the other side, learning how the Air Force and Army conduct themselves in a joint environment deployment,” Kane said.