Terrorists beware - our Mel is soldiering

WOOLGOOLGA woman Melissa Van der Waal is now soldiering on the high plains of Afghanistan.

She is a part of Operation Slipper, the Australian Defence Force's contribution to coalition efforts against global terrorism.

Melissa, now a Lance Corporal, is an Admin Clerk at Camp Baker near Kandahar, home of the Australian Force Support Unit.

The unit is responsible for the logistical support of Australian forces - it involves administrative, communications, movements, engineering, mail, and stores.

Melissa is responsible for updating personal data, organising movements, and sending and receiving signals.

“I'm also the treasurer of the Regimental Trust Fund here at Camp Baker,” she said.

“I like being able to do my job on operations because this is what we are trained to do.

“Operations are the best test - so I keep very busy and time goes really quickly.”

Melissa's stand out impressions of Afghanistan have been about the climate and the dust.

“The days at the moment are quite pleasant but the mornings and nights are very cold. I'm also told that summer will get extremely warm,” she said.

“The dust is also amazing. It gets everywhere - especially when the wind picks up.” Melissa is now looking forward to spending time with her family and friends when she next has leave.

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