For communication information systems technician Signaller Tyson Antonie, the chance to take his skills on operations has been a career highlight.
CAPTION: Australian Army Private Tyson Antonie works at keeping communication information systems operating while deployed on Operation Accordion at Australia’s operating base in the Middle East. Story and photo by Corporal Melina Young.
“Operations provides the ultimate opportunity to put all the skills I’ve learned to use,” Signaller Antonie said.
“It can be stressful, but we’ve got support, knowledge, and our other agencies for assistance.”
Signaller Antonie recently began his first deployment on Operation Accordion and said he jumped at the prospect when offered.
He manages the IT systems that personnel use and is responsible for maintaining the strategic communications link to Australia, including encrypted networks, with his section playing an integral part in the operation.
Signaller Antonie also works closely with the internet service provider in country, and various organisations in and outside the Australian Defence Force.
“I’m one of the primary people who talk to our communications team because I can speak their language on a technical level,” Signaller Antonie said.
He is one half of a two-person team overseas, building on his day-to-day role as telecommunications technician at his home unit of 1st Combat Signal Regiment in Darwin.
He joined the Army at 17 and said it was one of his best decisions.
“All through high school I was into fitness, and I was constantly bombarded with Defence recruiting ads promoting the lifestyle,” Signaller Antonie said.
“I liked the idea of getting to train while learning new skills, so that pretty much grabbed me as a teenager.”
Signaller Antonie is a firm believer of the old adage “you get out what you put in” and feels strongly tied to his teammates and the Army’s culture.
“I’m just trying to make the most of it while I’m serving,” Signaller Antonie said.
“I’ve made a lot of connections, friendships and memories in my career and I’m really enjoying it here on deployment.”