Major Jennifer Harris, a Civil Engineer, is currently the Officer Commanding the 23rd Support Squadron, 1st Combat Engineer Regiment.
She has spent the past few years in Afghanistan, providing specialist engineer advice and support to the Netherlands Defence Force (NDF) in preparation for the 1st Reconstruction Task Force’s (1 RTF) deployment to Afghanistan.
Initially, her work involved assisting with the design of the camp to accommodate the majority of Australian Forces deploying to Afghanistan. With a background in weapons’ effects on structures, Major Harris was well trained for this project.
She then deployed to Afghanistan to provide technical engineer advice to the 1RTF Reconnaissance of the province. Once there, she quickly saw that the camp was critically behind schedule. Upon her return to Australia, she briefed key ADF personnel and was soon on her way back to Afghanistan to spend the next seven months ‘making it so’.
Major Harris and her team built temporary facilities across three separate camps, to accommodate troops and achieve the initial timeline in building the main 1RTF camp. She then took part in many of the Australian reconstructive efforts to support the Afghan people; and designed and constructed the Tarin Kowt Trade Training School, a facility for learning that melds western and traditional construction techniques.
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Engineers Australia is proud to announce that 2011 is the Year of Humanitarian Engineering