Please note:

This website was set up to get parcels to Australian Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen/Airwomen deployed overseas.

You are welcome to cut and paste information and use it to support sending parcels to our service members serving overseas, however, when you do cut and paste please link back to Ocean Sky & Khaki to acknowledge OSK, and so that people can find the blog themselves.

If there are questions one of us will answer if you comment on a post at the blog.

*************

Saturday, December 24, 2011

All the information you need... UPDATED OCTOBER 2012

SUPPORT OUR SOLDIERS!

The parcel
• must be 2kg or under, and
• must be the size of a Bx2 Australia Post cardboard box or smaller,
• must not contain aerosols, batteries or other goods prohibited in the post,
• must be accompanied by a customs douane,
• must be posted by someone who has a photo identity (drivers licence).

Australia Post carries the parcel free as long as it is under 2kg in weight and under the size of the Bx2 box from anywhere in Australia to the AFPO in Sydney.

If you have several magazines you can send them bundled together for free, wrapped or packaged, clearly addressed, with douane etc, as long as the bundle is under 2kg.

The Post Office is aware of the parcel arrangement with the Department of Defence.

ADDRESSES:
PARCELS/LETTERS
Sending to Afghanistan

An Australian Soldier
Op Slipper
AFPO 13
Australian Defence Force
SYDNEY NSW 2890

for the dog handler and his helpmate
An Australian EDD Handler
Op Slipper
AFPO 13
Australian Defence Force
SYDNEY NSW 2890

Sending to East Timor
An Australian Soldier
East Timor Operations
AFPO 61
Australian Defence Force
SYDNEY NSW 2890

Sending to the Solomon Islands
An Australian Soldier
Solomon Island Operations
AFPO 62
Australian Defence Force
SYDNEY NSW 2890

POSTCARDS ONLY
Messages to the Troops
R1-5-A056
Russell Offices
Department of Defence

FAX & EMAIL
fax
: (02) 6265 1099
fax from outside Aus: +61 2 6265 1099
email: messagestothetroops*at*defence.gov.au
WHAT TO SEND? WHAT NOT TO SEND!

Suggestions for care package contents for service troops in combat zones
Send a letter with an email address and/or a self addressed envelope, no stamp required, so the troops can reply.

Ask about their living conditions and if they have fridge or microwave available to them then it is easier to know which food items to send, but do not worry if they do not use something troops have been giving it to the chaplain or another unit to pass out to others that might need it.

NO HOMEMADE Food items unless you know the soldier as they get thrown away.
If sending liquid or food products, place them in a snap lock bag in case of leakage
Food

dried fruit
drinking choc (individual sachets)
easy mac
individual small cereal boxes
individual ring pull tuna cans or sachets
lollies
long life milk (small packs)
microwave popcorn
microwave rice (reject shop $2)
oatmeal (individual sachets)
pepper (individual sachets)
powdered energy drinks
salt (individual sachets)
sauces & condiments like mustard etc (individual sachets are good, ask Macca’s if you can have some and why...)
spices - to go with lamb/goat for example, rosemary, garlic, thyme, greek spices
sugar (individual sachets)
tabasco sauce
tea
trail mix
twisties (can also be used as packing in spaces in the box)
wasabi peas
NO PORK AT ALL TO BE SENT
Hygiene
aftershave (they complain they smell)
air fresher (non aerosol sprays & the cardboard card ones)
baby wipes (bulk & travel size)
cotton buds
deodorant (non aerosol)
foot powder
hair conditioner
hair shampoo
inner soles
lip balm (chap sticks)
moisturiser
mouthwash
razors (NOT the real cheap ones like Bic! Personally I use Schick and I’d only send those, we don’t want them cutting/slashing themselves to shreds!)
shaving cream (non aerosol)
soap (normal & travel size)
socks (black & white)
talc
tissues (medium & travel size)
toilet paper (one roll in a box)
toothbrushes (sometimes)
toothpaste
if female troops then add the following
female hygiene products
gel or hair spray (non aerosol)
hair ties
hairbrush (only send 1)
Misc & entertainment
blank cards (for troops to send home)
board games
board games (some marines have a wonderful photo of them playing twister)
book (try not to send romance novels)
cheap dvds please write on cover & disc in permanent marker “Aussie troops property” to avoid theft
drawing paper
envelope
footballs/basketballs (and a pump)
magazines (nothing rude)
music CDs (Please write on cover & disc in permanent marker “Aussie troops property” to avoid theft)
other sporting goods
pen/pencils
playing cards
poker chips
sport sections of newspapers
tennis balls (if you have tennis courts nearby you can buy second hand balls cheap – I got some from the University tennis courts $1 each, Slazenger and other brands)
writing Paper
NO Alcohol to be sent to any troops
DO NOT SEND CLOTHING except socks

What not to send:
Aside from and in addition to any items prohibited by Australia Post and the destination country, the following are prohibited to be sent to AFPO13 Operation Slipper:
aerosols
alcohol
cigarettes
clothing other than socks
pork
magazines with naked women
any religious materials
UPDATE:
The mailing addresses in this post are still correct.

45 comments:

Katren said...

Thanks for the information Kae. Our local paper today had an article about sending care packages to our troops. They also gave addresses for the Middle East and Solomons, would you be interested in those?

Article without addresses here: http://www.inverelltimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/supporting-our-troops-at-christmas/2005454.aspx

kae said...

Hi Katren
Thank you for that information, I have written to Senator Williams.
One of us will put up the extra addresses soon, and I think it might be an idea for us to put up numbers so that people can decide where to send their parcels... remembering that the majority of our troops are in Afghanistan.
I was told by a female soldier in East Timor that things like deodorant and shampoo are available but there isn't much choice and it is quite expensive.

Eva said...

Hi Kae, Nilk and BOAB,

Thank you for running your website.

The information has been invaluable, and a great reference!

I have wanted to do this since I
saw the ABC doco, and my birthday seemed like a great place to start.

I organised the party, and asked asked everyone to bring stuff for care packs instead of presents.

I was expecting enough goods to fill 10 care packs but I ended up with 20!

I was lucky i bought the boxes in bulk, and happen to have a trolley to transport the boxes around :)

The postal clerk couldn't be seen behind the wall of boxes :P

I hope to settle into the habit of sending two per month. It seems like the least I can do.

kae said...

Hi Eva
Thanks for supporting our troops!
I know that your efforts are appreciated by them.
What a great idea to have that party, and what a great response from your friends.
I like doing it because it makes me feel that I am doing my bit - and I just love giving presents!

Gregoryno6 said...

Incredible. A government department has actually responded in a positive fashion to a requested from interested citizens.
It's enough to make a grown man believe in Santa Claus.

Kate said...

So we can send our usual 2kg parcels to the Christmas mail address instead, until the 15th?

kae said...

Hi Kate
Yes, I'm sure that's the idea. I suppose the Christmas address is to make sure that the mail is speedily delivered... Judging from the information at the military site.

Anonymous said...

Bless you all for caring about our boys and girls!

I'm the mother of a soldier serving in Afghanistan and I've posted once before, but wanted to reiterate to you my gratitude for your interest and being proactive.

It's tough for us defence families, and we pay a high price for serving our nation. Yes! The WHOLE family serves, believe me!

Knowing others care and are actually doing something positive to make a difference brings a measure of comfort during what is a worrying and stressful time.

The troops really do appreciate the kindness and caring.

THANK YOU!

Soldier's Mum xxx

kae said...

Hi Soldier's Mum
Thanks for writing again - thanks to your soldier son/daughter and his/her mates for what they do!
Sending gifts to soldiers really is fun, and I know that it is appreciated - but it also gives me pleasure to know that the small things I send will lift the spirits of someone who is far from home.
While feedback is appreciated I understand that sometimes recipients can't answer or reply.
Again, Soldier's Mum, thanks to your soldier... maybe they'll get a parcel with an Ocean Sky & Khaki card in it and let their family know so that we can get feedback on what they need/want...
I have a brace of parcels to get organised to send next week, about 15-20, and I'm sending Christmas trees, little wire ones which are flat and I can fold to fit in the boxes, and some baubles so they can decorate a tree. Each one will have a little wrapped gift (camping KFS set from Aldi, dominoes box, etc), along with some nice coffee, a bit of tinned food, and lollies, so I hope that they find them nice!
It's fun trying to figure out what would be good to send!

Anonymous said...

Hello Kae, thanks for your post.

The troops enjoy magazines, sports, cars, health and fitness etc. Also Beef jerky is a favourite, but it's expensive! The latest DVD's are always welcome.

The parcels containing personal hygiene items such as shampoo, soaps, etc are always much needed. As is stationery: pens, notebooks, envelopes, highlighters etc.

With winter descending now, scarves, gloves socks are always useful.

Keep up the good work and be assured your efforts are greatly appreciated!

Postcards are always a wonderful way to send greetings and they really do love receiving them!
Just ensure the card is in an envelope.

It has meant such a lot to me to know others, such as you all, care and are actively showing your wonderful support as you are. Bless you and THANK YOU!

Kind Regards,
Soldier's Mum

Anonymous said...

My partner and I sent off a number of care packages a few weeks ago. This morning when I awoke I had a lovely email from an Aussie soldier thanking us for our support. This email has truly made my day, and is the BEST Christmas present I could have asked for :)

I wish there was more I could do to support our troops, but for now I am happy to know that our small gifts may bring a smile to someone's face or remind another of home.

kae said...

Hi Anon
Reading your email has made me smile, too!
It is the best present!
Thanks for supporting our troops far from home.

Kate said...

My mum heard Liz Ellis talking to an Army Captain on the radio today and he was saying that since September they've been holding off on delivering parcels until tomorrow.

Apparently at 12:30 pm tomorrow they will be handing out all parcels received since September, so hopefully there'll be enough for everybody.

He also said wanted to tell everybody who's sent a parcel just how meaningful they were and how much they were appreciated. He also thanked Australia Post and the Defence Force for making it so easy for people to post things to our soldiers overseas.

By the end of it Liz Ellis was in tears and my mum was in tears. And then when mum told me I was in tears too. Quite lovely.

kae said...

I received a thank-you call from the mother of a soldier in East Timor today... he received one of the parcels I sent.
It is the best Christmas present I could get.
I really do love giving. I wish I was rich so I could give more!
This soldier's family lives not 20ks from me.

kae said...

Hi Kate
I have emailed the producer of the Liz Ellis afternoon programme to give them information about Ocean, Sky and Khaki, so anyone can find out how to send parcels to the soldiers.

Jade said...

Hi Guys!
I sent out my first care packages this year!
I sent 3,1 each to a male and female soldier and one to a Doghandler and His helpmate :)
I used the info off this site to find things to pack...i put some treats in there minties,pack of twisties those little nuttella snacks thatkids take in their lunchboxes
I put in some body wash for both sexes
and i put in some reading material just some light reading for Men it was the ZooWeekly Pub Trivia handbook i thought they could ask each other some questions lol
and for the female i put in a readers digest :)
I also took in two packs of 24xmas cards and got my sons' kindy class to write a message for the soldiers and put in a little note asking them if they could send me a pic to my email with their name and which child sent it to them..just so i could then print the pic off and give it to the child so they would know :)
I had a lot of fun this year it was REALLY hectic..imagine writing out the addresses 24 times x2! also because *silly me* put in a candy cane for them i had to fill out the customs douane 24times...x2! LOL
Thankyou for all the info you have on here if it weren't for you i wouldn't have any idea on what to send

Anonymous said...

I know I certainly don't send the parcels expecting or wanting thanks - but boy it is great when you get them !! As Kae said above it is a present in itself.

I must admit that after sending 5 parcels over the past 4 months or so and not hearing so much as a peep - I was feeling a little downhearted. Mainly I just wanted to know that the parcels had got there; into the hands of someone so far from home.

Obviously they were stockpiling them for Xmas distribution as, all of a sudden, a couple of emails came through. Such lovely replies put a big smile on my face.

I'm fired up again - the big box (overflowing) of goodies bought to send over is still in the bottom of the pantry. Can't wait to get started on packing some packages again in the New Year.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone and my best wishes to you for the new year.

Rest assurred, your generous and kind parcels have arrived! :)

My son received one! :)

So ... to the person(s)who sent his parcel, this mother blesses you and thanks you!

The parcels and the thought behind them have meant more than you know!


Please don't be disheartened if you do not receive any acknowledgement, some members are serving in units which prevent them from identifying themselves publicly.

Take comfort and joy in the knowledge that your gifts ARE reaching our boys and girls.
And they are thrilled and grateful.

Your kindness and generosity has touched this mother and our soldier and his family thank you.

Regards,
Soldier's Mum

Kate said...

I received my first piece of mail from Afghanistan today, a thank you from a unit of soldiers. Was so great to hear that they'd received my parcel and that it was appreciated. They sent a photo of their camp as well, was lovely.

kae said...

That's great news, Kate. What a thrill for you.

kae said...

Comment posted on "Message from the pointy end":

Anonymous said...

A self addressed envelope is great. We used to receive many care packages - for which we were exceptionally grateful - however, at the remote patrol base at which we were stationed, we had run out of envelopes! I was often forced to fashion an envelope from an A4 page.

It always amazed me that Australians without a direct connection to the ADF would send a care package to deployed soldiers.

So please, continue to send the packages to the deployed soldiers, but if you can include an addressed envelope (no stamp required) you will be much more likely to get a reply.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! Is the Op Slipper mail address still valid for now?! Thanks! :D

kae said...

Hi
All the addresses are up to date. For special mailouts there may be a different mail address so that the DoD and Australia Post know these are special mailings, but the everyday mail addresses don't change.

Mlee said...

G'day

As someone who's both got a mate (albeit american *sigh* lol) who has [and is] serving away from home (atm Afgh.), and done the US's anysoldier, I love this blog.

I was so, so pleased to find it- stumble across it really, as I'd asked the ADF's families lot if I could send a care package o'seas and got shut down (unless the person was a family member/friend and gave me the address). I do hope one day they got onboard and 'ok' something like anysoldier for us aussies.

Some of the things the anysoldier guys I sent things to requested more of were the photos I sent- just plain photos or photo-collages of places I've been 'round Australia (and animals I'd encountered...) and stuff like that, envelopes, writing paper, blank cards for birthdays and christmas to send 'back home' all seemed to cheer them up a bit.

The ideas lists you guys have here echoe a lot of the stuff I've sent before (to my friend or anysoldier people), I've also used popcorn (the individual packs you can buy) as fillers, just like twisties and 2m noodles. They seem to go down well when you throw in a dvd or two. Another were the nescafe coffee sachets that have everything in them- coffee, milk powder/creamer and sugar. I'd bought them for our frequent roadtrips, camping and wanderings, loved the taste, sent some over and was ordered back for more from both sides XD. Baby wipes, up'n'go (heavy, but UHT and have choccy flav. ones),UHT mini milks, plain and flavoured (Breaka, another thing that travels well in my experience)... lollies.

Best thing I've recieved in return- a photo of the guys playing Twister, of all things.

As a uni student, the whole no postage cost thing is -awesome- to say the least.

So this week, while my friend is costing me $80 postage, there will be a couple of boxes in the post for the Aussie guys too.

Thanks for the great blog =D

kae said...

Hi Mlee
I'll have to put up a blog about what's been going on. My local RSL has started sending out parcels regularly (as regularly as I can find specials to buy to fill them!). I think the RSL Sub-Branch sent about 100 parcels. They're allocating $100/month to purchase goodies for parcels. We have some people who are known to the RSL and we send home-baked goods along with the other goodies in the parcels to them which are vouched for by one of their officers - he's a member of the local RSL Sub-Branch.

Some time ago I received an email from a person who wanted to adopt a soldier. By the time I received information about what could be done and tried to reply to the emailer I couldn't send an email as their address bounced back. If you read this please email me again!

Mlee said...

Hi Kae,

Wow, that's great that your RSL branch is digging in so much :o).

Is it ok if I include the address for this blog in any letter I send with a box?

Cheers,

Mlee

kae said...

It's fine to include the address of this blog, especially if that's how you found out how to send the parcels, tell your friends about the blog, too.

The more parcels the better!

Mlee said...

Hi Kae,

Not sure if my last comment came up. I read your comment about 'adopting' a soldier and was wondering if you still had that info, as I think I'd be pretty keen on that.

Thanks in advance,

M

kae said...

Hi Mlee
I don't know about adopting a soldier, my idea is that if you get a reply you can send a parcel back to that person and adopt them that way.
The local RSL has members who are officers and we send parcels to them by name, and send home baked bikkies to them, too. However, I don't think that using these names would be fair, I'm sure there are others in over there who would appreciate parcels.
One other suggestion I could make is that you write to "The Chaplain" and ask whether he/she could make a recommendation to you of a soldier you could adopt.
Good luck!

Sue Thomas said...

Hi Kae,
Thanks for all the info on where to send cards for the troops, I have been trawling through other sites and I ended up with two different lots of addresses and wasn't sure which ones to use - now I know!
Last year my daughter's grade 5 class sent cards and this year I am getting her whole grade 6 year to send some - watch out Australia Post!
Well done to you for keeping us all up to date and on the right track.

Pseudonymph said...

I've posted this on my FB page. What a brilliant idea. Thanks for all the suggestions about what to include, and (with a bit of guidance) my children will all send one each. However what to send to a dog handler's best friend? (we're very dog-friendly in this household). Would something like a pack of schmackos or dog toy be appreciated?
Thanks again for your post.

kae said...

Hi Pseudonymph
Thanks for posting on your FB page! I hope your kids get a letter from the recipients.
You can mail any time to these addresses, but check the Christmas Mailing post for the Christmas mail addresses and deadline.

For the K9s and handlers, schmackos and anything nice like that is great, rawhide chews, a ball or a rope toy, and some of that nice premix coffee in the packs, you know, with the milk and sugar already in them (it's cold over there now!), and a magazine and some lollies for the handler.

They'll appreciate it. And if people get stuff they don't like they swap!

Kae

kae said...

Hey Rik, I hope you're in Australia, the postage to the Sydney AFPO is only free in Australia!

MissGwen said...

Hi All. We sent our parcels off last week, including one for a Dog and their.Pseudonymph, in our dog one we included treats for them, dog toys, a dog story movie for them to watch together and christmas cards, one paper & one made out of edible dog treat stuff signed from santa paws. Also other general stuff. Be creative, I'm sure anything you would like to receive would be enjoyed.

MissGwen said...

Oops, it's was to a dog and their human :)

Jan-Maree said...

Hi there,
I have been posting goodies to a WO2 in Afghanistan and his team for a few months now. I was told that you could no longer send a parcel addresses to " an Aussie Soldier" - do you know if that is the case these days? cheers

Jacana said...

As a mother of a soldier I THANK YOU for this blog.

To see the amount of people that are actually involved makes me so grateful.

One parcel can make such a difference in moral, especially now as it is the start of a cold winter.

THANK YOU AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I was just wondering if you knew if the DOD was going to be doing the Anzac Day mail addresses again for 2012?

I missed the Christmas deadlines because I was sick and I would like to send the boxes off as I keep collecting bits and pieces and they keep piling up!

Thanks
Ang

kae said...

Hi Ang
Keep up the good work!
Just send the parcels any time to the addresses in the thread above, they'll get there.
I don't know whether they'll have specific Anzac Day addresses.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info Kae.

I didn't realise you could send them all year round. I've packaged them all up and will send them off tomorrow.

I'm glad I found this blog, it's great to see all the ideas, they're much more interesting that what I usually send :)

Ang

kae said...

Pleasure, Ang.
That's what we're here for!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I realise that this blog is a few months old now but I was wondering if you can still send these care packages, Are they something you can send anytime?

kae said...

Hi Anon
Yes, the mailing is still valid. You can send parcels to these addresses as long as we have military service personnel deployed to these areas.

Sue Thomas said...

Hi Kae,
I actually found your site a couple of years ago and we have been doing cards at my daughter's school each Christmas to send - it is such a good project for the kids. Anyway, what I wanted to ask is: on the ADI site I noticed that there were troops deployed in other places (like Egypt) but there is no specific address for them. Do they come under the umbrella of the "Middle East" address? Also, the ADI site only show one address for all the troops (??)

kae said...

Hi Sue
Great work sending cards!
There are many theatres where Australian military personnel are deployed (and AFP, too!).

In some cases there are only a few Aussies in certain places and they probably don't need lots of parcels sent to them, they'd get too many.

I suggest you send to the Middle East address as then the parcels can be distributed as required.

I do have the addresses for some places however these are really only for family to send parcels. As Afghanistan is the main place we have troops it's best to send to there.

The Christmas deadline is this Friday, however you can send any time!