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Issue 1 2014
Issue 1 2014
“I never want
dust again like
I did in Tarin
Kot, but having
said that, the
Kelly Yager, Materiel
n Coalition forces first
established a base in
Tarin Kot in 2004 as
part of the International
Force’s mission in
n It was first known as
US Forward Operating
Base Ripley and
was renamed Camp
Holland by the Dutch
in 2006, which was the
first year Australian
and their equipment
occupied the base.
A convoy of vehicles sets off to transport
plant equipment from Multinational
Base Tarin Kot to Kandahar Air Field
against the backdrop of soaring peaks.
Photo: Corporal Chris Moore
While Kelly is ex-RAAF, her time in Afghanistan was
her first overseas deployment.
“The biggest highlight was being part of a
deployment and finally understanding the bond that
is developed by deployed personnel – they become
your family and everyone tries to help everyone
else,” she says.
Kelly relished her job as Container Manager and the
deployment’s routine and camaraderie.
“The work ethic, the health mentality, the simplicity
of life and the total focus you can apply to the end
goal – very little distracts you,” she says.
“During the last three months in Tarin Kot, there
were approximately 800 containers on base that
were being tracked. In line with policy, all assets
owned by one of the coalition forces or contractors
had to be remediated ... either through sale or
She says a few of the containers were identified for
donation to the Afghan forces as they held a range
of items such as tools and linen.
She was amazed at the “lunar scape” around
Multinational Base Tarin Kot.
“A lot of rock is brought in from nearby to help
reduce the dust, but the dust is ever present.
A chopper landed one day and the dust cloud
swelled as high as a five-storey building, rolling and
billowing outwards, covering everything in brown-
red silt,” she says.
“I would also never want to experience dust again
like I did in Tarin Kot, but having said that, the
mountains were amazing. Stark, ravaged with deep
cuts down their side, they still exhibit the scars of
two continents colliding. And rocks, rocks and more
rocks, I will not miss them – my legs got a workout
moving over them each day.”
Jodi is also a former RAAF member and, although
she had deployed to the MEAO twice in uniform,
she had not been to Afghanistan.
“Seeing Tarin Kot for the first time was a highlight
for me even though the base had reduced in size
by the time I got there. Nothing compares to seeing
something in person,” she says.
As Disposals Manager, Jodi oversaw the sale and
destruction of surplus assets.
“It has been a great experience and has built on
my previous experiences and given me a more
appreciative understanding of the whole area
of operations and of our role, in particular as a
contributing nation to the International Security
Assistance Force,” she says.
Jodi believes the Disposal Support Team proved a
“valid and successful venture for Defence”.
“The concepts, processes and procedures are
enduring and can be adapted to suit the disposal
environment in Australia. I hope our collective
experience will be drawn upon to shape the future
of disposals,” she says.
Tom was primarily responsible for disposing of
equipment by sale or destruction.
“There are different disposal plans for a range
of products, including those controlled under
the United States International Traffic in Arms
Regulations (ITAR),” Tom says.
“If it was not value for money to return equipment
to Australia, we disposed of it subject to these
requirements and completed the destruction
by accessing the US Defence Logistics Agency
Disposition Services located in Kandahar or Tarin
Working closely with coalition forces, contractors
and Afghans was diverse and interesting, says Tom,
especially with regard to the cultural challenges.
“As an ex-soldier, I understand how the military
system works and the related processes, which
enabled me to negotiate with people and build trust
and understanding,” he says. “It was a rewarding
experience and I have many good memories.”
Craig mainly looked after container management
during his six months at Tarin Kot.
When he first arrived, he had to contend with nearly
1500 containers. When he left Afghanistan last
October there were less than 400, with the others
having been sold, disposed of or returned to their
“If we had to transport the containers to Kandahar
and sell them it cost nearly $4000, so by selling
them in Tarin Kot we saved money,” Craig says.
By the time the containers returned to Australia they
would be at the end of their life cycle and would
have had to be scrapped anyway.
“This also means we saved cargo space on a C-17
Globemaster and also money for Defence and the
Australian taxpayer,” he says.
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