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Brendon Russell - Wodonga

Woodonga's Brendon Russell is heading to work at the hospital again today – except that for the next six months that work place is Iraq while he dons an Australian Army uniform.

Captain Russell is a Nursing Officer in the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps serving with Task Group Taji, Rotation Five – a combined force of more than 300 Australian and 100 New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Okra.

Brendan is providing medical care to deployed Australian, New Zealand and coalition personnel as a Primary Care Nurse and the second in charge of the military hospital run by Australian and New Zealand health professionals.

"This is my first deployment as a Nursing Officer in the Army," he said.

"At first I wasn't sure what to expect but my military training and experience in emergency and intensive care nursing is proving invaluable."

Brendan is involved in the administration of the hospital and is responsible for mentoring junior medical staff and ensuring the hospital is always ready to provide emergency care whenever needed.

"Our medical health staff are extremely experienced and well-trained," he said.

"Our ability to provide care to Australian and partner forces wherever or whenever needed is second to none."

Brendon posted into the local area in January 2016 from Queensland and has since enjoyed all the offerings the Albury Wodonga area has to offer.

"Since moving south from Brisbane I've been enjoying the close proximity Wodonga has to the National Parks such as the Alpine National Park," he said.

"I have loved being so close to the ski fields."

Brendon said he is looking forward to returning to the Albury-Wodonga area at the end of his deployment.

"It'll be great to get back home and see my partner and close mates, definitely a trip to Beechworth is in order," he said.