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Mitchell Wheelhouse - Sydney

Travel broadens the mind; however there are varying degrees of sensory satisfaction.

For 26-year-old Private Mitchell Wheelhouse, his operational deployment to Afghanistan has become a sensory odyssey.

The Townsville-based infantryman, who originally hails from Alfords Point in Sydney, recently deployed on Operation Highroad, Australia's contribution to the US-led Resolute Support mission.

Acting as a 'Guardian Angel', Private Wheelhouse's role is to protect the Australian Defence Force mentors who train, advise and assist the Afghan Nation Defence and Security Forces.

"I originally joined the Army to gain a bit of life experience while I serve my country," he said.

"One of the best parts of the job is interacting with the Afghans and seeing their progression as they work with our mentors.

"Experiencing the culture of Afghanistan and its people has been an eye-opening experience.

"They have a completely different way of doing things, compared to Australia, so it's been a bit of an adjustment while we get used to working with them."

Being dropped into an unfamiliar culture can be a shock to the system for even the hardiest of people, and Private Wheelhouse said one of his biggest challenges was settling into a steady routine.

"The coalition wouldn't be able to achieve the train, advise and assist mission without force protection," he said.

"It's a rewarding job with a lot of different opportunities.

"I'm looking forward to hitting the gym during our downtime and working on my fitness."

When he returns home early next year, Private Wheelhouse said he was looking forward to catching up with the people he'd left behind in Townsville and Alfords Point.

"I'm definitely looking forward to catching up with my dad Gary and mum Sandra, along with all of my other family and friends," he said.

"I don't think a holiday would go astray either!"

About 270 ADF personnel are deployed in the Kabul, Bagram and Kandahar regions as part of Operation Highroad, Australia's contribution to the NATO led Resolute Support mission.