While troops deployed to Iraq may have access to secure internet, Skype and Facebook to talk to family and friends, for many personnel it’s still the letters and parcels from home that have the most meaning.
With around 200 items of mail arriving each week at Task Group Taji, the staff at the Deployed Post Office have their work cut out for them.
Soldiers, sailors and airmen of Task Group Taji rotation 5 (TGT-5) receive everything from lollies, clothing and books to personal items from home and also steady stream of supportive letters from schools and organisations.
Deployed Postal Office manager Corporal Cassandra Rice said it is fantastic to see the look on the troop’s faces when they receive a parcel or letter from home.
“Getting an email from home is one thing, but actually being able to touch and hold things from a loved one or friend is a special moment especially being so far from home,” she said.
“I just love seeing people’s faces light up when they get a package or a letter from home, you can see it means a lot to people.
“We process a lot of parcels each week, the most sought after, of course, are those containing Tim Tams.
“They are like gold around here.”
While sending mail in Australia is a quite simple affair, sending and delivery of mail into a theatre of operations is a complex logistical operation.
It involves support from the Royal Australian Air Force, Australia Post and a lot of dedicated people.
Officer Commanding Task Group Taji Logistics Company, Major Tim Soper, said the postal operators of TGT-5 proudly continue to provide a service to deployed troops that has been in existence since Federation.
“Posties take immense pride in the critical link their service provides,” he said.
“The service they provide facilitates critical communication with home and improves the morale and wellbeing of TGT-5 personnel."
Australian Army posties have deployed in every theatre of war since federation and are some of the most heavily deployed personnel in the ADF.