Tamworth's James Melville was always going to pursue a career that was challenging and guided by his studies at Oxley High, but world travel may not have been part of his plan.
With such a strong Air Force presence it not surprising that a Tamworth resident would consider a career in the Royal Australian Air Force, something that Corporal Melville has done as a Communication Electronic Technician with Number 1 Combat Communications Squadron, Richmond NSW.
Presently deployed to the Middle East Region with the Air Task Group on Operation OKRA, CPL Melville has been deployed before during his 9 year career. His previous deployments include Afghanistan, the Middle East Region and even France for the reinterment of World War Two airman Flight Lieutenant Henry 'Lacy' Smith.
Add exercises in Western Australia and Guam and CPL Melville has travelled extensively during his career.
"Joining the Air Force was the best decision I have ever made," said CPL Melville.
"I enjoy what I do, which is maintaining ground based communications equipment such as radios and satellite receiving equipment."
CPL Melville's family and friends in Tamworth are often at the front of his thoughts as he travels the world.
"I get home as often as I can and I have very fond memories of the Kangaroos AFL team and my mates at Walsh TaeKwonDo.
" have had an opportunity to travel throughout Australia and overseas."
"There aren't many jobs as good as this one," CPL Melville said.
CPL Melville is deployed with The Air Task Group (ATG) of Operation OKRA, which is operating at the request of the Iraqi Government within a US-led international coalition assembled to disrupt and degrade Daesh operations in the Middle East Region (MER).
The ATG comprises six RAAF F/A-18A Hornet fighter aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail airborne command and control aircraft, and a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport air-to-air refuelling aircraft.
Additionally, the ATG has personnel working in the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, and embedded with the ‘Kingpin’ US tactical Command and Control Unit.