Army officer Major Kier Bailey knows being equipped with the right tools and ingredients is key to planning and coordinating a successful operational task. 

The former Melbourne local is deployed on Operation Mazurka on the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, as a North Battalion staff officer.

Major Bailey said his military skills and his favourite hobby helped him successfully execute his role. 

“In my spare time, I like to make furniture and teach my two-year-old daughter Alba about different tools,” Major Bailey said.

“Strangely, I think the lessons I have learnt with Alba and my military knowledge enable me to approach some of the problems we face here in a different way.”

Major Bailey is among 27 ADF personnel assisting the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) to oversee long-standing peace agreements in the Middle East region.

He is also the senior officer representative for the Australian contingent in the Northern Area of Operations, and said his work in the region was rewarding, especially during recent months.

Strangely, I think the lessons I have learnt with Alba and my military knowledge enable me to approach some of the problems we face here in a different way.

“I develop operational orders and coordinate between lodger units, direct-force elements and North Battalion functional groups to achieve planning, personnel rotations and mission-specific tasks,” Major Bailey said.

“The pandemic has changed the lives of people across the globe, and the remote nature of Forward Operating Base – North only exacerbates its impact on the local community.

“Working in the multinational environment is challenging in itself, however, I can see that every decision I make has a lasting impact on the lives of the men and women serving in the MFO.”

A highlight for Major Bailey was facilitating an Anzac Day service in the vicinity of the Battle of Magdhaba and Battle of Rafah. 

“This was a special moment for me, as my great uncle, James Robert Taylor, moved through the area on his way to fight at the Third Battle of Gaza in Beersheba with the 4th Light Horse Regiment, part of the 4th Light Horse Brigade, on October 31, 1917,” Major Bailey said.

“Having the opportunity to be here, so close to such a significant event related to my family is extremely memorable.”  

Established in 1981, the MFO is a non-UN organisation that is maintained by 13 nations, including Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Fiji and Colombia. 

ADF personnel contribute to the peacekeeping effort by monitoring the security of facilities, preparing daily operational briefings and supporting the headquarters.