Don Spinks - The Middle East and Afghanistan

Running time
1 min 57 sec
Date made

Department of Veterans' Affairs


So in 2009, I'd finished up as the regimental sergeant major of the 1st Brigade, and for the first five months of 2010, I was sent to the war college to do the single service component of the Australian Command and Staff College Course. Whilst I was undertaking that training out at the staff college, I was given a posting order to go into the Middle East as the regimental sergeant major of Joint Task Force 633, which I was quite pleased about, but my time at the staff college was cut a couple of weeks short to undergo that deployment.

So a late May deployment, a couple of weeks in-country training and then took over my role in June and then right through to the end of the year and rolled out very early in the New Year back to Australia to take up a posting in Headquarters Forces Command Army in Sydney at Victoria Barracks in Paddington.

So in 2010, I went in the middle of the year. The posting to Forces Command was the following year, but seven months in the Middle East area of operations … working directly to Major General John Cantwell. He was the Joint Task Force commander… But we spent a lot of time flying into and out of Afghanistan, as well as Iraq, Bahrain, basically all over the Middle East area that our commander had responsibility for. We spent two separate trips at sea on Her Majesty Australian ships, both Parramatta and Melbourne. So I got to spend a bit of time in the Gulf, bobbing around there with the sailors that were deployed.

Was this page helpful?
We can't respond to comments or queries via this form. Please contact us with your query instead.