Sunshine Coast sailor to experience a land-locked Christmas

Published on CAPT Chris Rickey (author), WO2 Rob Nyffenegger (photographer)

Location(s): Al Minhad Air Base, UAE

Topic(s): Operation SLIPPER

Leading Seamen Lisa Wilson outside the headquarters of Australian Joint Task Force 633, located at Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. (photo: WO2 Rob Nyffenegger)
Leading Seamen Lisa Wilson outside the headquarters of Australian Joint Task Force 633, located at Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.

You might think the desert is a strange place to be for a Royal Australian Navy Maritime Logistics Steward, but that is exactly where former Sunshine Coast Girl, Lisa Wilson finds herself.

The 27 year old Leading Seaman is currently deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation SLIPPER, the Australian Defence Force contribution to the global war on terror. Based at Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates, Lisa provides vital administrative support to the headquarters element of Joint Task Force 633. No small task given the number of Australian Defence and civilian personnel still in theatre.

“I’m responsible for the processing and management of all internal and external correspondence for the Task Force, basically I help the flow of information from Australia into the headquarters and then onto the relevant personnel in Afghanistan and around the Middle East Area of Operations,” she said.

The former Cooroora Secondary College student, who joined the Navy straight after school, also does her bit for morale by helping organise leave for deployed personnel.

This is not Leading Seaman Wilson’s first time working overseas for the Royal Australian Navy; previously she has deployed on Operations ASTUTE, RESOLUTE, QUICKSTEP and DELUGE. She has also spent considerable periods on exercises around Australia and throughout South East Asia.

Given the amount of time she has spent on deployment, it is easy to understand why she has so many fond memories of back home.

“Especially horse riding and being a member of the Cooran Active Riders Association, the local netball club, four wheel driving on Noosa’s North Shore, camping and spending time with my old school friends,” Leading Seaman Wilson said.

Lisa has a wedding to plan on her return to Australia with Fiancé Todd Giles. Also, on the ‘To Do’ list, a significant amount of relaxing.

“I’m really looking forward to spending quality time with family and good friends and catching up over a few glasses of wine,” Lisa said.