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Craftsman : Craftsman 2011
RAEMECRAFTSMANWinter2011 51 In that time honoured military tradition, 2011 began with a name change for the unit. 1 Fd Regt has now become 1 Regt, RAA as the Sydney based A Fd Bty relocated up to sunny BrisVegas to merge with it’s parent. For some obscure reason morale was said to be quite high at A Fd Bty as they packed up prior to leaving Holsworthy permanently. If only the boffins had got them to do the Defence Attitude Survey at the same time – that could have pulled the entire Army averages up for satisfaction levels! Other changes saw the raising of CSS Bty as its own entity (formerly HQ Bty and 105 Bty). The upside of the amalgamation of personnel and equipment corresponded into a slight increase in tradies. For the first time in a few years, TST actually had a functioning EIR section (as functioning as a group of elecs and boffins can be). However, the only 418 - LCPL ‘Frosty’ Blizzard – keeps complaining about being surrounded by ‘quirky’ boffins banging on about riveting subjects such as dehumidifying radios and fungal contamination of objective lenses! Enough the small talk , the big news of the year is the arrival of the new guns, the M777A2, which replaced the aging M198’s. Just another piece of equipment to maintain to a tradie but the gunnies were getting quite excited about their new toy. The first few months of the year started with the usual ‘get to know you’ routine and mandatory training lectures which, like a good wine, get better with age (unlike our ASM). Speaking of the ASM, the workshop think he is a card carrying member of the Greens Party the way he keeps boring everyone about bicycles and how they are a great form of transport. He also impressed the new OC and BK on arrival by giving them 8 figure grid references to all the best coffee spots within a 10km radius of the barracks. Anyway, the workshop headed up to the bay during February along with the majority of the unit to conduct a ‘shake out’. Being at the end of a very wet summer Shoalwater Bay looked magnificent as we drove through the gate to set up at Camp Growl. It didn’t take long for the first recovery job of about a dozen over the exercise period. ‘Do not drive off formed roads’ was the order of the exercise from range control. Unfortunately something was lost in translation to the gunnies and they decided they’d ignore that and got stuck on numerous occasions. LCPL Mick Ball and SGT Jason Lee were often heard giving lots of ‘positive reinforcement’ to ‘Robot’ (CPL Ashley Boxall) about finally doing something productive for a change. Robots biggest recovery task turned out to be none other then his own HRV. After recovering another PMV for the umpteenth time, he managed to sink his HRV. 6 hours later we finally got it out and unfortunately for Robot some photos were taken for documentary evidence. During the exercise we found that workshops were very good at conducting Combat Logistic Patrols. These consisted of a small convoy driving meals and other supplies up to Elanora with some tactical army related drills along the way. The only downside to this Ex was that we were not able to conduct an FRT to Sabina point for a bit of marine species recognition training / recreation. Once back in barracks the tempo hasn’t let up, with people going away for courses, getting the equipment sorted for the upcoming exercises and going to frontline for coffee. Back to the big news – four M777A2’s arrived during April to much fanfare and drooling. They look mighty impressive with all their gizmos and cables hanging off them which hopefully won’t break easy. I thought the days of introducing new equipment before EMEI’s & RPS’s were written were supposed to be over? In the end though, it’s mid May as I write this and I sit here recollecting the year that has been so far. Looking out of the window of the EIR office I see the VM’s busy as always working to get vehicles ready, the fitters are somewhere - not really sure where but it must be important stuff like looking through rifle and gun barrels etc. TST Personnel – 2011 EME OPS – OC – CAPT Steve ‘I’m at Mornos’ Madsen; ASM – WO2 Scott ‘Nothin’ wrong with lycra’ Marshall VEH – SGT Jason ‘Cyclists don’t deserve a chance’ Lee; CPL Ben ‘I’m not TST, I’m A Bty’ Lewis; CPL Adam ‘I love trucks’ Sullivan; LCPL Mick ‘Sabina Point anyone?’ Ball; CFN Steven ‘I just want to work’ Richardson; CFN Richard ‘Vampire’ Sleema RECOVERY – CPL Ashley ‘Robot’ Boxall GE – SGT Dave ‘I don’t like swimming’ Raj; SGT Brian ‘Are you serious?’ Morriss; SGT Barry ‘Whirlwind’ Unsworth; CFN Graham ‘Grub’ Earnshaw; CFN Glen ‘I agree, Sabina Point’ Sypott; CFN Jason ‘Pigeon Hunter’ Lewis EIR – CPL Daniel ‘Uni work first’ Smith; LCPL Luke ‘Frosty’ Blizzard; CFN Anthony ‘Always on course’ Gerlinger RPS – CPL Lenny ‘Anti-Pigeon Movement Leader’ Lignnow Drake – Mr Jim Yarnold – Prod Clerk (lynchpin of WKSP’s); Mr Ken Zache – (local brains trust of all things Hamel) TST 1 Regiment, RAA 51 unit jottings