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Craftsman : Craftsman 2012
RAEME CRAFTSMAN 2012 37 chains. From here 2.8. will be the brakes for the croc, which is the anchor for slowing 2.8.A down. I run some quick numbers in my head. This will be interesting, we need to be careful we don't cook the brakes here. So with a smoke, deep breath and a "She'll be right" we begin. Ratel for this recovery crew is bullshit brief now, call signs are no longer, we know each others voice, in fact, the only traffic now is "Yep, NO, go, STOP". Half way down the hill the differential pressure IPR comes on, Whoa, Whoa, lets just rest a second. And after a nicotine hit, we are away again. So close to getting home, the air now feels cooler, everyone's mood has lifted. You can tell we are all enjoying this now, just the lads out getting dirty and getting it done. At the bottom of the hill we disconnect the chains. The Engineers are making some final adjustments to the country side on the rise in front of us. Sweet, it's a bit of a climb, a right turn and easy pickings after that. The lads are just cutting the sharp corner out to be a bit gentler for 2 AFV's to take. Franger gives me his little "she'll be right" look. So the 18A ARVL moves forward up the track to allow 28A and run up. Junior and I sit and wait, and to Franger's credit he makes the par 5 look easy, the headlights disappear down and to the right. Time for us to catch up. Now there is a little back storey to our recovery. All the while during that day when we were towing and swearing and carrying on, a humble little Dozer and its operator had smoothed out the track. From the debus site all the way back to the North South road is now a freeway that puts most local shires to shame. Don't slow down Franger, let's get outta here. Tearing the through the cool of the night I jazz out some quick re-org orders. Get everyone on the same page. We bounce thru the bush, marvelling at this beautiful road built by the Dozer. Out the scrub like a victorious Gladiator we pull up on the North South road. Now we have 2 ARVLs, 2 Fitters, 5 PCs parked on the road in the middle of the biggest Ex of the year, headlights on, cigarettes lit, yelling go on. I call in all the Crew Commanders. As I look around at these tired, shambled, ant covered, sweating Soldiers I decide to make a call. From here everyone is to head to Williams Airfield hard standing. From here we will debus, clean out the ants and animals in the cars, repair the cars, get a feed and change clobber. As we tear up the road, about 2230hrs, I jump on the Net and let higher know what's what, and the call I've made. When we arrive at the airfield the lads go straight into stripping the vehicles as the hordes of tree ant and other multi-limbed creatures still crawled all over the cars. The Engineers and Greasers conducted repairs, mainly shock absorbers, A Frame mounts and anything unlucky enough to incur the wrath of a charging A Vehicle thru the scrub. Around this time I called on Lt (Ray Martin) Hall to work his magic. He sauntered over to the Williams RAAF Airfield and managed to sweet talk SECPOL. Now the site of a Platoon's worth of trashed, tired, busted, filthy Soldiers must have inspired some sympathy. You blokes look like ya been working, showers are only supposed to be 5 minutes, but just get in there a get cleaned up. So in groups that lads hobbled over and 20 minutes later, chatty, French prostitute smelling diggers bounce back. Two and half hours of strip, refit vehicles, repairs and showers pretty much resets us all back to Zero. It's after midnight. The Engineers call in and camp the night beside the Airfield, Alpha Company boys and their A1 head back to their Leger. So us Bravo Lads get on the blower and let 2.9. know we are heading back to their Loc. A familiar voice (Mech WO) comes back telling us to get in, get our heads down and take it easy the next day. Sweet, it's always a nice feeling when the Grunts know you've had a slog and give you some breathing space. So 2.8. and 2.8.A, fresh but tired from the triumph tear thru the crisp night, down the track about and hour till we are within a breath of the Harbour. We walk the cars in, grab a fang, punch a few darts. 0300hrs we have finished up. Not a bad days work. I will be surprised if any of us manage a Recovery of that scale again in our days. The boys that worked hard to get the job done should all be commended for their efforts. It was a massive undertaking, but a massively satisfying job to have been a part on. Still waiting on a few cold ones from Brucie and the Alpha boys ... ... believe it or not, this is the short version of what happened. I am hoping to have David Field play myself in the screen adaptation. This recovery accounted for 2 of the 49 total recoveries conducted by 2.8.A during EX TS 11.