There is no denying the importance of Tassie-raised Sergeant Lenard Johnson’s security role on Operation Mazurka in Egypt.

Sergeant Johnson is responsible for force protection and the security of personnel at the Multinational Force and Observers’ (MFO) Forward Operating Base – North (FOB-N).

“Security is achieved through regular patrols, mentoring and liaison advice, and direction regarding both FOB-N as well as MFO Remote Sites,” Sergeant Johnson said.

“My role facilitates the conduct of the MFO’s observation missions within North Sinai.”

MFO is a non-UN organisation established in 1981 to oversee long-standing peace agreements in the region.

“The MFO consists of 13 nations, including Australia, Canada, Fiji, France, New Zealand, Japan and the United States, to name just a few,” Sergeant Johnson said.

“It’s great to be able to work with such a diverse range of people. You really get to know and appreciate the different approaches to a similar job.”

 No stranger to the Middle East region, Sergeant Johnson has previously deployed to Afghanistan and to exercises in South Korea and the Solomon Islands.

“I was part of the Mentoring Task Force rotation one in Afghanistan, 2010,” Sergeant Johnson said.

“The two deployments are not even comparable and no matter how much you prepare there is always something that you can’t plan for.

“The biggest change this time is my family, which has now added other pressures, especially with the restrictions placed on daily life back home in Australia because of COVID-19.

“My wife, Jordan, has handled everything marvellously in my absence and without her I would not be able to serve overseas.”

Sergeant Johnson is also taking the time to study Cyber Security while on deployment.

“As much as the daily tempo is consistent, we have some down time, which has given me the ability to maintain my study while deployed,” Sergeant Johnson said.

“Being able to further develop by studying is really one of the great benefits of Defence.

“I would definitely recommend the Army to anyone who is looking for something different. There are many different roles and streams you could take which can lead you to attain some very good civilian qualifications.”