Before joining the Army, Bowning lad Joshua Molloy hadn’t been part of a group much bigger than Yass High School.
He is now deployed to the Middle East with several hundred Australian Defence Force personnel as an Air Dispatcher, managing logistics and packing cargo to be air-dropped.
“If something does kick-off, like a humanitarian aid task, we’re here to do it,” he said.
“Anything that is needed for operations can be air-dropped.”
“We can drop 16-tonne bulldozers and artillery pieces all the way down to one hand-held radio.”
“But when we’re not doing air dispatch, we’re doing what is known as a terminal role, loading and unloading aircraft.”
Joshua arrived at Australia’s main base in the Middle East in September for a six-month deployment.
“Not many Air Dispatchers get to deploy to do their job overseas, whether it is for operations or training,” he said.
“Being an Air Dispatcher is what I want to do.”
Joshua joined the Army in 2013, not long after finishing high school.
At the time he was deciding between being a soldier and going to university.
“I got my date to join the Army just as I got a university offer, so I decided to give the Army a crack,” he said.
“It was originally a one-year role; four and a half years later, I’m still in.”
“I like the job satisfaction, it’s something not many people in the Army get to do and we also get the opportunity to do parachute jumps.”
Joshua’s mother still lives in Bowning and was proud of her son going overseas, but it was his grandmother who was most excited.
“My Nan’s very patriotic about this sort of stuff, so she’s loving it,” he said.
“My mum’s ok because she knows I’m not really in a dangerous position.”
When not overseas, Joshua is posted to 176 Air Dispatch Squadron in Richmond on the outskirts of Sydney and gets home to Yass to see his family whenever he can.
Joshua is deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation Accordion, the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF’s) mission support the sustainment of ADF operations, enable contingency planning and enhance regional relationships in the Middle East Region (MER).
From Australia’s main logistics base in the MER, around 400 ADF personnel provide support to Australian operations throughout the region, including Operations Okra, Highroad and Manitou.