Corporal Krystal Smith
Krystal, 29, has specialised as a quartermaster. These days she’s normally based in Townsville, Queensland, but she deployed to Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province in May 2011 and will return home in February.
Krystal and her comrades in the task force are mentoring the Afghan National Army so they can better protect the Afghan people and enable effective governance and development.
“I really enjoy being in the Army but I miss my horses,” said Krystal.
“This is my second deployment to Afghanistan. I was here for around six months in 2009 and I really enjoyed that deployment.
“I’ve also deployed to Solomon Islands and I went to Papua New Guinea for an exercise a year or so ago.
“But I’m really a home body and love nothing more than spending time riding my horses and heading bush with my dogs,” Krystal said.
Krystal is one of around 1550 Australian Defence Force personnel currently in Afghanistan as part of Australia’s contribution to the international campaign against terrorism.
“It was my mother who suggested I join the Army. I thought she was crazy, but seven years later I haven’t looked back,” Krystal said.
“In Afghanistan, I do the purchasing for Tarin Kot base. When guys need something it’s my job to get it from Dubai or somewhere like that.
“I get a lot of satisfaction when I’m able to source it, get it shipped into Afghanistan and out to some remote patrol base a few days before the guys are expecting it.”
When her deployment ends, Krystal is making a beeline for Townsville to see her Arabian gelding, Widgey.
“Horses are my life. I miss riding like crazy. My pride and joy and my life is Widgey — he’s a 15-year-old chestnut Arabian.
“Home in Tasmania, I used to do a lot of dressage, eventing, cross-country, show jumping, anything involving horses,” Krystal said.
But Krystal has no plans to head home to New Norfolk right away. “My family understand I’m an infrequent caller, but I’m sure I’ll get down there as soon as Widgey and I have become reacquainted.”