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Captain to train next generation of Afghan National Army

Captain Glenn Bourke, Second-in-Command for Australia’s contribution to the logistics training advisory team based in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Captain Glenn Bourke, Second-in-Command for Australia’s contribution to the logistics training advisory team based in Kabul, Afghanistan. Australian Army

AUSTRALIAN Army Captain Glenn Bourke will simmer in Afghanistan while Australia experiences winter, as part of his deployment to train the next generation of the Afghan National Army.

The 37-year-old former Gympie resident is deployed to Operation Slipper in Kabul, Afghanistan as the Second-in-Command of Australia's contribution to the Logistics Training Advisory Team there.

He said the deployment had been extremely memorable, including spending Anzac Day on operations, and he was enjoying passing on his knowledge and experience to help build a strong Afghan National Army despite the Afghan summer heat.

"For two months, I was in charge of a multi-national team that was responsible for signing over stores and equipment from the coalition to the ANA," he said.

"I also advised the ANA in the management of the national depot container yard. This yard held 3000 containers and close to $500 million of stock."

Logistics officers are responsible for supplying Army personnel, sometimes under extremely challenging conditions, from bases in Australia to combat and humanitarian missions overseas.

"I am now currently the Operations Officer for the Coalition Organisation responsible for advising both the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police in national level logistics.

"One of the main challenges is trying to bring the ANA up to what we perceive to be the best level of logistics.

"Logistics is not something that they are experienced in and they work really hard and want to learn. They enjoy the coalition advising them."

The husband of Susan and father of three sons, Kaleb (13), Joshua (9) and Lachlan (1), is based in Sydney but has fond memories of growing up in both Gympie and on the Gold Coast.

He worked for Thiess as a construction labourer at the Tindal Air Force Base in the Northern Territory before joining the Army.

"In Gympie, I loved being on the farm at Glenwood and the family gatherings on my grandparents farm in Kybong.

"On the Gold Coast, I played for the Southport Sharks Australian Rules Football Club.

"When I get back I cannot wait to see my boys, my beautiful wife and playing some cricket in the backyard with the kids as well. I am also studying a Bachelor of Business (Logistics and Supply Chain Management) so that'll keep me pretty busy."

Topics:  afghanistan army

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