Small world for Gladstone locals
25 January 2019
There is a saying that no matter where you travel in the world you will always meet someone from Gladstone, Queensland.
However, it was still a surprise to Gladstone locals Major Ed Dahlheimer and Private Christopher Lockyer when they met in Kabul.
“It’s funny that you can fly halfway round the world to Afghanistan and still meet someone from home,” Private Lockyer said.
Major Dahlheimer and Private Lockyer are deployed on Operation Highroad at the Kabul Garrison Command.
The Garrison Command is a joint command comprised of the Afghan National Army, the Afghan National Police and the National Directorate of Security.
Major Dahlheimer is part of a team of Australians and Turks which advises senior Afghan military officials at the Command on the security of Kabul and its 5 million residents.
Private Lockyer is a soldier in the Force Protection Element, which provides security and protected mobility to Australian advisers such as Major Dahlheimer.
Members of the element are more affectionately known as Guardian Angels by the people they protect.
Both men said they enjoyed their roles.
“The thing I enjoy most is meeting other soldiers and officers with a common goal of bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan,” Major Dahlheimer said. “The Afghan people are very friendly and are tired of the ongoing conflict.”
Private Lockyer lived in Gladstone for 22 years before he joined the Australian Army.
“Joining the Army was something I always wanted to do. The adventures you get in the Army you can’t get anywhere else,” he said.
Major Dahlheimer has lived in Gladstone for more than 25 years.
The men intend to maintain the new friendship when they return home this year.
“The first thing I will do when I get home is hug my fiancée. I will probably head to the RSL to catch up with the older veterans and also catch up with Chris when he is home at the end of his deployment,” Major Dahlheimer said.
Operation Highroad is the Australian contribution to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
Australia contributes about 300 Defence personnel to the train, advise and assist mission.