Fred Smith: Wake for the Afghanistan mission

Posted on: Mon 31 Jan 2022

“Described as ‘Australia’s secret weapon’ in international diplomacy, Fred Smith was the first Australian diplomat sent to work in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province in 2009, and the last to leave. But it’s his second career as a folk singer and musician that captured the hearts of many when he wrote a song about the death of Australian soldier Ben Ranaudo, who was killed in July 2009” AWM.  Fred says “I think most guys who serve in these environments would like to think that if something happened, they would be remembered.”

Fred has since written and performed many songs about his experiences serving alongside our troops and the citizens of Afghanistan, so it doesn’t come as a big surprise to know that he’s putting together a concert to welcome recent evacuees from Afghanistan to Australia that will also be a bit of a wake for the Afghanistan mission and an opportunity to recognise the efforts of thousands of Defence personnel and public servants who’ve worked in Afghanistan.

Interviewer Helen Meyer

Main image: Airfield Defence Guard, Corporal Nicholas Russo, at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Members of Joint Task Force 633’s RAAF Air Force Security Forces (SECFOR) at Camp Baird, the ADF’s main base in the Middle East, continue to provide Air Security Operations (ASO), with Covid-19 precautions in mind.
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Fred Smith working in Afghanistan with Baluchi tribal leader. Photo provided by Fred Smith and used with permission

Link to Fred’s song on Vimeo Gates of KIA

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