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Craftsman : Craftsman 2011
40 RAEMECRAFTSMANWinter2011 40 The FSU-4 RAEME guys are still battling the maintenance fight diligently. We’ve made great strides in inspecting and repairing a lot of the equipment that comes from further in-theatre. We’re now into our sixth month of deployment and all of us are feeling that longing to get home and quench our thirsts but we’re going to get the job done first. You certainly appreciate the small things in life when you’re away from home. SGT Jamie Smith, CPL Jay Harding and CFN ‘Macca’ McNamara have been working in Tarin Kowt and have also spent many hours putting all the small fires out. SGT Smith spends his time working on the Rovers, Unimogs and Manitou forklifts that litter the base which is not easy for one bloke to handle. CPL Harding and CFN McNamara also have a big responsibility working with the Camp Maintenance Team of engineers, checking and repairing any generators and electrical hard lines around the base and giving a hand to the MTF blokes as well. We catch up with them now and again to see how they are over a coffee from Poppies or more recently Green Beans (the yanks do have some good points). At least it’s not freezing anymore so you can have a conversation with them without snot trails running down your face. LCPL Trev Miller plays the Lone Ranger at Kandahar looking after anything that moves in Camp Baker. He was thrown in at the deep end at the start but has found his feet and is now all over MILIS like a......(insert suitable anecdote). Occasionally one of us gets to visit him and TGI Fridays and the PX stores and KFC and anything else that looks remotely interesting. Not much else to do there. Back at Al Minhadistan, SGT Banks and myself have had our work cut out setting up a boffin workshop as we are the first boffins to be deployed with FSU. We’ve taken over all Med & Dent inspections and are currently into the second lot of 6 monthly inspections of all medical equipment in the MEAO. We’re also grabbing whatever RTA stock, that doesn’t have a 42, and conducting inspections on all kinds of electronic and optical gear like artillery / ASLAV sights, Combat Net Radio, GPS and night vision equipment. Along with a few forward taskings with MTF and SOTG it’s been a long 6 months (only two to go) but we’re here to support the guys further in theatre to keep their equipment going. That’s what counts. LCPL Ben Grose and CFN Brad Ledger are putting extra time in to get a lot of weapons inspected, especially the SA2 variants that are flooding in now. We’ve had an influx of equipment that has swamped us due to the MTF and FCU rotation. They’ve also had to inspect loads of shipping containers and bushmaster tyres which isn’t a pleasant job in almost 50C heat. These fellas are a credit to the workshop around here. They’ve also got endless ‘left-handed’ jokes to keep everyone’s spirits high. WO2 Dave George has supported the FSU-4 team really well with plenty of feedback and technical advice which has been a real help. He’ll come around the workshop as well, check how us guys are holding up with the workload coming through and have a yarn over the good things we like back in Australia. We’ve had to get out of afewjamsnowandagainandtheAcehasgoneintobatforusa number of times, although, LCPL Grose got a bit of a headache from the Ace’s over-zealous chair manipulation in a Bushmaster. Crump. Our turtle, Belvedere is doing really well. He’s a Red-Eared Slider that was inherited by the original FSU crew when the logistical node was back in Kuwait. He gets out of his tank from time to time to walk around and explore. There aren’t a lot of aquarium shops around the area so we’ve ordered some special stuff from Australia for him so he can stay a happy turtle. Loves the dried shrimp and steak. Oh yeah, he correctly predicted Collingwood to win the ANZAC day AFL match. We thought as much as he’s got no teeth. Lastly, we commemorated our comrades, fallen and serving on ANZAC day. We remembered those who gave up their lives and sacrificed so much for their families and mates. It’s a legacy we all hold dear to our hearts so that we can make this world a better place. To all the families and friends who are part of a Defence member’s life, we thank you for your everlasting support no matter how small. FSU–4 CFN S. Vloothuis operations