AN RAF Cranwell sergeant has been sent to the front line in Afghanistan to help reconstruct and develop the community there.
Gordon Sinclair, 42, usually works as an instructor at the officer training college, but he has been deployed as part of the Military Stabilisation Support Team.
The team works alongside the civilian Provincial Reconstruction Team, in order to promote the influence of the Afghan government among the population of Helmand.
Gordon, who is known to his friends as Sinky, said: “I enjoy the fact that the role I am in now is key to showing the population of Afghanistan that there is another way other than the Taleban.
“They need to stand up on their own two feet in order to allow us to leave, and that is starting to happen.”
As well as trying to convince the population to defy the Taleban the team also develops community projects to try and improve the lives of the locals.
The father-of-five added: “It’s great seeing the community projects come to fruition.
“Sometimes it happens slowly, but progress is being made.”
Although Gordon’s role is to focus on development, being on the front line he and his team often have to defend themselves against insurgent attacks.
They also are often involved in efforts to drive out Taleban elements.
He added: “I have deployed with the Royal Gurkha Rifles on a number of occasions to conduct surge operations, which involved quite substantial engagements with the enemy.
“Each operation was a success and the enemy were forced to withdraw.”
This is not the first time Gordon, who has been in the RAF for 25 years, has served abroad.
He completed tours in Iraq and Northern Ireland, and has also served overseas in Germany and at various RAF stations in the UK.
He said: “I have noticed throughout my career in the military that the kit and equipment we are issued as individuals has improved dramatically.
“Now we have some of the best kit available in the world.”
l Do you know anyone who is serving with the forces abroad and has an interesting story to tell?
Let us know about it. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01476 562291.