Remote Country Girl Joins Aussie Troops In Afghanistan

Albury Wodonga’s Meagan Crookson used to work in the local aged-care industry, now she’s protecting Aussie soldiers on Operation Highroad as a Guardian Angel in Kabul, Afghanistan.  

“We are the force protection for the mentors, helping them achieve their requirements and responsibilities to the Afghan National Army,” Private Crookson said. 

“This is my first deployment. It’s different from my job in Australia. Being a Guardian Angel is exciting and a great opportunity for me.”

Usually in a military policing role, Private Crookson is relishing the chance to perform as a Guardian Angel on deployment. 

“In the lead up to deploying, all the training and qualifications I got were great,” Private Crookson said.

Doing her first task was a key achievement. 

“After all the hard work and training I went through to get here, I was finally able to say, ‘I’m doing my job as a Guardian Angel’,” Private Crookson said.

Crookson joined the Army in 2017 because as a child she wanted to emulate her grandfather who was in the British Army. 

“I wanted a career where I could serve my country, be proud of and one that would let me explore my horizons,” Private Crookson said.

“It’s an amazing career. In the three years I’ve been in I have learnt so much and had so many opportunities.”

Australian Army In Afghanistan

Currently, Australia’s largest international military commitment comprises approximately 1550 ADF personnel deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Slipper. This is Australia’s contribution to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The main focus of ADF activities in Afghanistan is the mentoring and training of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the provision of protection for military and civilian personnel involved in reconstruction activities.

During April 2010 Australia announced that it would increase its civilian personnel numbers in Afghanistan from 25 to approximately 50. An Australian civilian is the head of the Uruzgan Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) and there are personnel from AusAID, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Uruzgan.

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