Officially, his title is Middle East Region (MER) Safety and Security Adviser – unofficially, Captain David Box oversees many roles on Operation Accordion.
CAPTION: Australian Army Captain David Box instructs range-practice drills with Royal Australian Air Force Corporal Jessica Edwards during Operation Accordion at Australia’s operating base in the Middle East Region. Story and photo by Corporal Melina Young.
Captain Box runs basic 9mm and EF88 Austeyr weapons drills on the range at Australia’s main base in the Middle East, teaching and assisting personnel in developing their weapon proficiencies.
The range is also used to ‘zero’ weapons before entering operational areas, including short-mission Middle East region sustainment flights.
Captain Box provides instruction to personnel on the range, ensuring they meet Defence proficiency standards.
Those required to carry weapons in operational areas benefit greatly from Captain Box’s coaching.
“Having them come down weekly, to maintain currency and comfort with the weapon, allows them to move forward into those locations with confidence,” Captain Box said.
Captain Box also helps the Accordion operations officer when surge support is required.
“I’ll get emails and phone calls from out-stations requesting advice specifically on security of buildings, and what they can do to increase their zoning,” Captain Box said.
“I also manage the flow of specialist personnel to come out and accredit and certify new builds, and re-credit old builds.
“And, from a safety perspective, I ensure that across the MER people are aware of varying things coming through the WHS pipeline from HQJOC.”
Ticking over the halfway point of a seven-month deployment, the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineer officer is looking forward to some downtime soon, then he will return to the 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville.