Grafton girl leaves for Iraq tour of duty

RISKING her life guarding oil in Iraq will soon be all in a day's work for former Grafton girl Amy Ryan.

Ms Ryan is on her way to the Persian Gulf for a six-month tour of duty where she will help guard Iraq's two main oil terminals and hunt down contraband runners.

She is one of the 1500 members of the Australian Defence Force now on duty in the Middle East as part of Operation Catalyst Australia's contribution to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq.

While her Navy life may be a long way from her school days at South Grafton High School, she said she loved her job because it gave her the chance to travel and meet new people.

She is the leading seaman onboard the HMAS STUART and her job is to supervise incoming and outgoing signals.

She also maintains the ship's computer network and does repair work on the hull as part of a specialised dive squad.

Ms Ryan got her start in the Navy as a teenager in the Navy Cadets.

After joining the Navy in 2000, she specialised in communications and information systems.

This will be her first operational deployment overseas and she said she was looking forward to the experience.

"The last eight years (I) have been training for this type of deployment and all my hard work is now paying off," Ms Ryan said.



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