Embedded with United States personnel delivering Explosive Hazards Awareness Training (EHAT) in Iraq, Wing Commander Paul Muscat played a critical role in allowing Iraqi Police and Military personnel to train their own forces to operate safely in Explosive Hazardous environments.
“I worked with my team around Iraq delivering EHAT training to all coalition personnel entering Iraq through Kuwait,” Wing Commander Muscat said.
“Our team also worked with Kurds in northern Iraq to allow them to operate safely.
“I had an opportunity to visit Babylon while I was in Iraq, but as good as that was, the best part of the deployment was seeing my US team mates off home safely with no casualties, after more than 30 missions all over Iraq and six months of deployment in location,” he said.
The work done and results delivered by WGCDR Muscat saw him deployed again to the Middle East Area of Operations with a tasking to Afghanistan as Chief Exploitation.
Embedded this time with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), WGCDR Muscat worked in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)/Weapons Intelligence Team (WIT).
“While most times I was the only Australian in places I deployed to in Afghanistan, I still got to work with my ADF colleagues across Afghanistan delivering EOD/WIT training for Afghanistan’s Police and Military,” WGCDR Muscat said.
“In Afghanistan I created and delivered standard operating procedures for the ISAF and provided a means to enable Exploitation materials to be safely and quickly moved to processing facilities.”
“I am particularly pleased that I got to see immediate results from this work and was able to witness the first Military and Police graduates finish their training at the school at Mazar-e Sharif,” he said.
“Again the best part of the deployment was seeing my ISAF team mates off home safely with no casualties, after more than 30 missions all over Afghanistan and eight months of deployment in theatre,” he said.
“After I deployed to Afghanistan, I was immediately requested to deliver training to NATO forces in Europe.”
Peacekeeping operations take many forms and Australia has been actively involved in peace operations for over 70 years.
The Australian Peacekeeping tradition continues today, with Australian peacekeepers currently serving in the UN Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), and the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Middle East and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
WGCDR Muscat is one of thousands of Air Force members who have served in or supported peacekeeping missions since 1947. Their commitment and service will be honoured as part of Australian National Peacekeeper Day, Tuesday 14 September and as part of Centenary of Air Force commemorations throughout 2021.