The days of Kyra Poole moving sheep on her dad’s farm near Cowra have long past.
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Now she is shipping cargo around the Middle East on Royal Australian Air Force aircraft.
Corporal Poole works in the Air Movements team moving equipment and people around the Middle East as part of the Australian Defence Force’s Operation Accordion.
“I love my job,” Kyra said this week.
“I get a sense of accomplishment being here in the desert,” she said.
“I feel like I contribute; I can say to myself ‘I put those people on a plane, I balanced that aircraft’s load’.
“Without my team doing that, they wouldn’t get to their destination; they wouldn’t be able to do their job.”
After wanting to join the Air Force as a child, Corporal Poole signed up as a supplier tasked with driving fuel trucks.
Later, her job was expanded to include air movements and driver training.
She previously deployed in 2011 and 2014 and is due home from her current trip at the end of October.
“The amount of aircraft we load differs depending on what’s operationally needed,” she said.
“Sometimes we have one aircraft a day, sometimes we have three.
“The hardest part is definitely the heat, especially when it’s summer here.”
The ‘Air Movers’ secure loads to pallets, then prepare, load and unload vehicles.
They then organise how the cargo will be distributed in the aircraft before it is loaded.
“I see different cargo loads that require various and challenging ways of restraining the items to achieve sufficient restraint in the aircraft,” Corporal Poole said.
“Some types of cargo get your brain thinking outside the box to effectively restrain it.”
Corporal Poole is currently posted to Tindal in the NT, but hopes to get home to Cowra soon after she returns to Australia.
“I don’t help Dad as much now, but I used to help him crutch sheep and work in the shed at shearing time,” she said.
“It’s good to take my kids home and show them farm life, because that’s what Cowra is.”
Australian Defence Force personnel deployed on Operation Accordion support and sustain ADF operations in the Middle East region, enable contingency operations and enhance regional relationships.
There are about 400 personnel deployed on Operation Accordion throughout the region.
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