Helping hand in Vietnam
FORMER Kyogle resident Ryan Dinsmore is one of 22 Australian Defence Force personnel in Vietnam as part of the Pacific Partnership 2010.
Sapper Dinsmore, normally a part of the Second Combat Engineers, has been driving trucks on Vietnam’s treacherously busy roads as part of the US-led humanitarian assistance mission.
Pacific Partnership, now in its sixth year, is a mission that evolved from the relief efforts following the 2004 Asian tsunami. It is being run out of the US Navy ship, USS Mercy.
Following the disaster, there was a belief regular humanitarian training inv-olving national governments, militaries, international organisations and non-government organisations should be on-going.
Pacific Partnership will continue for three months and will include engineering and medical assistance, in particular improving health centres and schools.
That is how Sapper Dinsmore found himself in a country where Australia was fighting a war 40 years ago.
“I get to make a difference in some people’s lives, visit these amazing countries and meet so many new people,” he said. “It’s really long days in really high heat at a school in Vietnam, but the job satisfaction is awesome.”
Driving trucks is part of Sapper Dinsmore’s normal role when he is based at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane.
But this deployment has already enhanced his skill base and led to an important exchange of techniques with his US military counterparts, otherwise known as the Seabees.
“The chance to work with US personnel is amazing,” he said.
“They have so many more people than we do and sometimes a different way of operating. I have enjoyed sharing stories of our experiences and learning their lingo.”
After the completion of his humanitarian training, Sapper Dinsmore will return to Brisbane and continue in his unit’s transport section.
He is hoping to eventually qualify as a plant operator and maybe gain a promo–tion.
“Pacific Partnership is really an amazing exper-ience. I never would have done it if I wasn’t serving in the Army,” Sapper Dinsmore said.