Afghanistan: The Australian Experience – Tarin Kot, 2011

From the Australian War Memorial.

John Martinkus takes you into the world of the Australian soldier whose day-to-day realities include training Afghan National Army members and disposing of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), identified as the biggest single threat to Australian troops in Afghanistan.

All who go to Australia’s area of Middle Eastern Operations must undertake compulsory pre-deployment training at Al Minhad, where soldiers are trained to identify IED’s.

John then travels to Tarin Kot and describes the work of the ADF personnel based there, including those of the Explosives Ordnance Disposal team, whose job it is to locate and deal with IEDs. John’s coverage at Tarin Kot — its harsh environment, the sparse living conditions, and long hours, provide a frank and compelling look at the reality of the work undertaken by Australian troops.

John’s revealing one-to-one interviews with ADF personnel tell of the changes to the operational environment over the last ten years, and go on to detail some of the harder realities facing Australian frontline soldiers: ..we had a second round land about 45 metres to our flank … fortunately all the fragmentation and blast passed above our heads – tore through our car that we were laying under, busted out all the windows and put a few holes through the car – but fortunately no one was injured, so that was a good day.

This is the first of three stories that John Martinkus produced as part of his commission as the Memorial’s Official Cinematographer.

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