Goulburn lad and Army Lieutenant Lain McLeod has swapped the rolling hills of the Southern Tablelands for sand dunes of Iraq.
His turning of the tables has resulted in him leading a team of signallers who have installed and now run the communications systems for Australian and New Zealand troops training Iraqi soldiers at the Taji Military Complex north of Baghdad.
"My team has laid over 15 kilometres of cable, set up over 200 workstations including laptops, peripherals and phones, and manages over 200 radios," Lieutenant McLeod said.
"This is my first Army deployment and the first time Australia and New Zealand has deployed together in a while, so it's exciting and a privilege."
Lieutenant McLeod graduated Mulwaree High School in 2005 and played Rugby League for the Exchange Hotel.
Leaving that all behind, his team arrived in May to set-up the information technology (IT) infrastructure and communications systems needed to keep in contact with Coalition forces in Iraq.
"We have a variety of radio's which operate off a number of different frequencies," he said.
"They enable us to easily talk amongst ourselves and with our Coalition partners when out conducting training.
"We also have several satellite dishes which we maintain to ensure we can talk back home as well."
Lieutenant McLeod appreciates an important part of their job is ensuring welfare systems are up–and-running for the 400-strong combined force.
"We are always trying to improve services for the guys and girls to speak to their families," Lieutenant McLeod said.
"Given we are on operations, away from home for a long period of time, our communication networks are crucial for morale."
To become a Signals Officer, Lieutenant McLeod completed 18 months at the Royal Military College Duntroon in 2012 after moving away from Goulburn in 2009.
"I worked within the information and communication technology field after leaving school and this prompted me to join," Lieutenant McLeod said.
"I have really enjoyed my career in the Army so far and have not looked back.
"I have learnt a lot in the last few months; its not often you are in another country and responsible for establishing all the communications from scratch.
"It's exciting; it's what everyone joins for."