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Craftsman : Craftsman 2011
RAEMECRAFTSMANWinter2011 47 out in the boonies. Certainly a golden testament to Australian engineering. Precision Rigging and Mogatron kept the fight real for the FRTs. Our much loved Up-armoured Mogs had their own benefits and gave most Crafties a chance to improve their manual gearbox skills keeping up with the Bushies on patrol. 4WD’ing enthusiasts eat your heart out with some amazing terrain encountered and conquered. The Bavarian ‘monster trucks’ performed valiantly but also have a new sibling as we enjoyed the arrival of SOTG workshops first FRT Bushie. Also on the Bushy side, the ‘Tankie’ drivers provided a solid supply of amusement and humour, both on patrol and in base. The bonds between both Tankie and VM were evident within the SOTG and will not be forgotten. As hard as vehicle section fought on the maintenance side, they fought just as hard on the recreational side. Morale being in general excess allowed for diplomatic forwarding feats such as ‘pogo stick off’ and handstand race beat down on the ANA and general domination of the LEC (Locally Employed Civilians) on the volley ball and soccer courts. With two thousand gallons of more moral to get rid of mid deployment, it was seen as a spiritual requirement to dig in the ‘Spa of Destiny’. This included an industrial spa heater and pool filtration/ pump system. The star rating of the CSST’s accommodation was increased to just over two and half stars (highest in TK). The spa has been the envy of everyone in SOTG, and has provided for an amazing relaxation and chill out spot to ‘get away from it all’, while watching Friday night (arvo) footy! As the trip draws to an end we leave just as we start to get to know our new American mechanic friends. We provided them with Australian English lessons regularly and ‘grilled’ it up as often as possible. Everyone reflects on the job that has been well done and the wealth of knowledge and skills that have been acquired. We bundle all this up and try our best to impart it on our replacement brothers so they can go hard from the get go. It will be hard to top putting in a heated spa but the industrious vehicle mechanic skill set sees no bounds. GE (SGT Shultz; CPL Amazon; CPL Cowboy; CPL Choco; LCPL Jerk-beard) The world of General engineering is based out of the lean-to relics of the “bottom shed” which is also home to the RPS, TK Instruments and the Recovery Mechanic. Once the MRE was over and November was upon us, morale was high, handovers were complete and it was time to get to work. Upon placing on the first tune on the jukebox, the bottom shed instantly found something in common; their love of true musical genius! The sound of Aerosmith’s “I don’t want to miss a thing” rang out almost religiously (on a daily basis, three times in a row) as they all began to settle into work, and the daily routine. GE was lead by the brave and bold SGT Shultz and his minions were CPL Cowboy, CPL Amazon aka Bear Grylls, LCPL Jerk Beard aka Jewfish and CPL Choco aka I’m a War Dog, from the part-time hard hitting crew of Randwick. The workgroup was full of weapon repairs and inspections. Range practices and test firing kept the armourers busy with plenty of ‘can you fix this by yesterday’ jobs, being undertaken at the last minute to ensure everybody was ready to rock outside the wire. Fabrication jobs constantly rolled through the door which provided plenty of opportunity for GE to enhance and build on their individual fabrication skills, and it always brought a good change from weapon repairs. As the winter started to make its presence felt the pot belly fires around the workshop began to billow out smoke. Imagination and some improvised ways to light them were soon to follow and ignition was now in a matter seconds, with a nice bang, much to the amusement of those huddling around. The cold didn’t stop the FRTs from making their way out the front gate and SGT Shultz was first to head for battle and thankfully his eventual (all too timely) return brought a smile back to the face of his worried diggers, and the workgroup began being productive again. The FRTs that followed saw all of the members support the task group in some form or another outside the wire. The members of the FRTs experienced all Afghanistan had to over, most notably, the rough terrain and the sub zero temperatures that the FRTs confronted during the patrols. Night times saw the temperature plummet to well below zero and the fridge on Mogasarus was used to keep the drinks from freezing and the puff gear was out in force. Whilst weapon repairs were first on the list, there were repairs to all of the different bits of kit, and keeping VMs honest made for busy periods. There was plenty of crafty ways to keep things going until proper repairs were able to be completed. CPL Amazon was called upon for a PSD task involving a vulnerable VIP. He was tasked with escorting, and route selection of the Boardwalk Cafes and PX’s at Kandahar, which his principal regularly frequented. He patrolled his arcs with vigour, checking each and every store for possible threats to his VIP. He ensured not one aisle or shelf was left untouched by scoping out essential kit for the boys back in TK. He also returned a hardened war fighter. CPL Choco was here from the beginning and brought as much sparkle to the workshop as twilight, however he unfortunately departed for Australia early after he sustained injuries in the ‘Battle of the Bushmaster Turret’. LCPL Jerk-beard was in no way to blame for his injuries, nor was he the root cause of the eventual injury sustained as part of ‘OP MILIS High-command’, where his knee was taken out by an insurgent planted ‘dodgy-chair’. As he lay on his bed in the hospital and waiting for his plane home the workshop boys all wished him the best, with a speedy recovery and awarded him a purple heart for efforts in the war on terror. With the early departure of CPL Choco, the OMD was increased by one, with the posting of CFN Cutter (a CNC Plasma table). He had a few teething issues at first, but once his, RSO&I, OJTs and trade testing was complete he quickly became a pivotal member of the workshop, and has provided not only SOTG and MTF, but also Coalition forces the ability to quickly manufacture engineering solutions. MNBTK arranged a Marathon event to coincide with the Boston Marathon (USA). GE placed in an award winning team. SGT Shultz was relegated water boy, and what an exceptional job he did, helping himself to all the available water. CPL Cowboy and CPL Amazon completed the half, while LCPL Jerk-beard completed the full marathon. LCPL Jerk-beard’s fellow team members all agree that the only possible reason he was more competitive than them, and could actually complete the full marathon, was due to the aerodynamic qualities of his Jerk-beard, being the lack of facial hair. The Ace and the boys did the lower workshop proud, by actually finishing their races, some without being too committed or competitive. CPL Amazon is taking employment applications on behalf of SOTG Pest Extermination. Your duties include exterminating unwanted pests. You will operate under the motto ‘No pest too big to eliminate’. Applications close on Sunday. Rifle enthusiasts are encouraged to apply. The Rotation also saw Christmas, New years, Australia Day and ANZAC Day. With much support from Australia we saw a couple of beers go down range on occasions permitting. As the rotation winds up GE is looking forward to be able to have few more when they get home, but upon starting back at their units, they will be sorely missing CFN Cutter. 47 operations