Australian officer served with Royal Australian Engineer Corps and Intelligence Corps in Australia, 1994-2003; civilian served as advisor to Iraqi Ministry of Defence in Baghdad, Iraq, 2007-2008
REEL 1 Background in Sydney, Australia, 1976-1994: family; education. Aspects of enlistment and training with Australian Army in Australia, 1994-2001: joining army, 1/1994; military college syllabus; posting to Royal Australian Engineer Corps; duties as intelligence officer with Royal Australian Engineers Corps; importance of period with engineers for later intelligence work; character of exercises in Northern Territory; learning Chinese at language school. Recollections of period as officer with Intelligence Corps, Australian Army in Australia, 2001-2003: initial confusion over postings; location of Intelligence Corps companies in Australia; intelligence courses attended; sources of intelligence; grading of intelligence; content of intelligence courses; posting as operations officer.
REEL 2 Continues: duties as intelligence officer; effects of 9/11 attacks on security policy; perceived threats and need to meet security expectations of populace; posting as intelligence officer to Royal Australian Engineers unit to deal with nuclear, biological and chemical threats, 11/2001; deployment to Sunshine Coast for Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting; degree of information available about perceived threats; deployment of unit to East Timor; frustrations of military service and question of leaving army, 2002; briefing commanding officer on potential of Iraq conflict; reaction to decision to send him on course to China on exchange visit; reasons for cancellation of China trip; medical discharge from army, 12/2003. Aspects of period as civilian in Australia, 2004-2007: becoming business management student; employment as recruitment consultant; work for military procurement division of Australian Government in Canberra; question of re-joining army; work for personnel division.
REEL 3 Continues: Recollections of period as civilian advisor to Iraqi Ministry of Defence in Baghdad, Iraq, 2007-2008: selection procedure; reasons for applying for job; personal considerations on applying for job; pre-deployment training and advise; question of items taken to Iraq; body armour worn by Australian advisors; intense preparations prior to leaving for Iraq; flight from Australia to Kuwait; period in Kuwait; flight from Kuwait to Iraq; arrival in Baghdad, 10/2007; method of transfer through Red Zone into Green Zone; character of Green Zone; problems of getting into wrong convoy; allocation of living accommodation in American Embassy compound; security checks in Green Zone.
REEL 4 Continues: use of personal escort to Ministry of Defence; replacement of Fijian guards with Ugandans; breakfast facilities at Ministry of Defence; daily routine at ministry; problems faced by translators; conduct of meetings; nature of Iraqi politics; question of best method of coalition dealing with Iraqis; improvements in security situation; need to allow Iraqis to fail to develop organisational skills; weakness of anti-corruption regulations; recreational activities; personal reasons for not using alcohol; duration of contract; attitude to work and achievements in job; question of failure of imposing of changes on Iraqis.