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Craftsman : Craftsman 2012
RAEME CRAFTSMAN 2012 EMEOPS MTF-4 hit the ground running in Jan 12, arriving to a frosty TK, with flights only able to land after a half day was spent clearing the 'all weather' runway of the snow and ice. HQ and EMEOPS arrived early, with the Pl Comd, CAPT Dan Irwin and the ASM, WO1 Andrew 'Dino' Perry hitting the ground ahead of the main workshop. It didn't take the ASM long to get out and about, departing for PB Wali on a resupply mission within 48 hours of arrival. Fortunately, for the oldest man in the Task Force -- turning 50 mid tour, age has not slowed him down. The EMEWO, WO2 Chris Lach arrived shortly after, adjusting the air conditioning to his liking and proceeding to berate anyone who left his office door open longer than 3 seconds. As the weather warmed up, the tempo followed, with all sections consistently under the pump juggling the vast numbers of repairs and bodgy jobs which flowed through the workshop. The workload was always bolstered by the deliberate operations which inevitably led to at least one vehicle, BFT and generator breakdown and the memorable recovery of vehicle combinations which manage to roll over while negotiating narrow routes, with sheer cliffs on either side. Armoured Vehicle Repair Section We arrived in TK all bright eyed and excited that we had finally got here. The original A veh crew consisted of the 'pen pushers' WO2 Neil Murphy, SGT Mathew Harrison, CPL Lette, the Lav boys LCPL Luke Cattell, CFN Fitzallen, the Bushy fellas CFN Mathew Smith and CFN Reuben Pettigrew. Work started at a pretty hectic pace with all the Mentor Teams coming through and conducting their monthly checks. It started snowing again a couple of days after we arrived, but the novelty wore off pretty quick after a couple of bushy pack lifts and ASLAV belly plates in the frigid conditions. All the boys have been kept pretty busy between changing nearly the whole ASLAV fleets diff bushes, keeping up the servicing schedule of the Bushys, compulsory PT ( 6 days a week, 3 of them start at 0615 in the morning) and resupply missions out to the Patrol bases on a regular basis. The make up of the A Veh crew gets changed up on a regular basis with CPL Lette being packed up and sent off to PB Hadrian and SGT Harrison got changed down to B vehicle. In exchange we received SGT Novello, LCPL Edwards and LCPL Rosman. With the sudden influx of LCPL's up at A Veh it has become hard to get on a computer, hold an intelligent conversation or get to the brew point. But at least when their powers combine they can keep goffas stocked up in the fridge. B/C Vehicle Section The B/C Vehicle 'Big Dogs", the premier vehicle section of MTF4, has made it through to halfway of the deployment with morale levels not seen since Paris Hilton's finest acting was released to the World Wide Web. The section consists of CFN 'Baa' Vorenkamp possessing the uncanny ability to break almost every bolt he touches. Backed up by CFN Richard 'Redbull' Morgan, enjoying no less than 46 Red Bulls a day; LCPL Ben 'Battery Neck" Friend, doubling as the weight training enforcer and 2IC C Veh section. Holding up the WKSP floor is CPL 'C Vehicle or nothing" Gibson, who is also the current champion of C2 threats, with 'Baa' receiving at least 5 per day for apparent oxygen theft. Our leader for the first half of the deployment was SGT Ronald 'Mr Polaris' Novello, who has produced a Polaris production rate that would rival BHP steel. Taking up the reigns for the second half of the trip is SGT Mat 'Handsome' Harrison. Keeping the B Veh boys busy is the multitude of trucks and trailers that the Truckies just can't seem to keep upright, and the age old complaint that 'my mack gearbox is hard to operate'. Learn to drive fellas, and don't be scared to check your fuses either. C Veh is kept on there toes jet setting around the countryside on various patrol base builds and upgrades, keeping the engineer plant fleet tip top. GE Section GE has set a cracking pace after the hand over from MTF- 3. The multitude of jobs thrown our way were taken head on and delegated accordingly by our fearless leader SGT Sean Weber, who has become an expert in AB189s and getting the Qwees to action said AB189s. The real workers, CFN Chris Potroz, Chris Stapleton and Mick Rogers have kept the sparks and spanners flying, turning out new sets of PMV tooling for the greasers, weapon Inoculations for EOD and inspecting every bit of kit the MTF possess. The welders, LCPL's Jason Goss and Paul Fiannaca have been burning rods by the bucket load, creating wonders of modern engineering to solve the many and varied problems the Cav/Grunts/Yanks/Civvies/ Officers can cause, including 84mm ammo racks for the entire bushmaster fleet, and fixing all the damage the grunts manage to inflict upon them. They also acquired a Yank apprentice, who keeps the GE office stocked with red bull and snickers in return for getting him out of the US workshop and teaching him to weld. CPL's Mark White and Blaine Askew have had an uphill battle trying to round up all the loose overdue tech inspections and trying to re- educate soldiers in the correct reading of the green stickers on their weapons. They also found time in their busy schedules to build a patrol base at Chaka Joy. The guys out at the patrol bases have been kept busy, fixing more of the ANA equipment than their own. CPLs Lee Bailey and Rod Chaffer, LCPL Leigh Hobbs and CFN John Harvey get called upon to fix mostly anything that breaks, which includes plumbing, foreign weapons and shipping containers. They have also been called upon to mentor the ANA in basic maintenance and care of their weapons. Elec Section Elec Section has hit the ground running with the boys busily into the generator and air con maintenance that comes with a force reliant on power for their brew urns and climate control to maximise efficiency in the CP. Well we came into the AO all full of beans and keen to get into it, that is until the snow hit again (three days later), then we were keen to stay in TK where the coffee was hot and the rooms and showers were to until we ran out of food and the sewerage line broke - then it was just hot rooms. The section is made up of: Krausey who claims to never whinge but continuously whinges about whinges, Deano who is always off "prepping his car" even though he is just filling it full of gofers, Jacko self proclaimed expert of all and leader in the section moustache competition, CPL Scott who is usually quiet but when speaks he sounds very profound and full of wisdom and CPL Beau Dimaio, if you cant hear him he must be sleeping. We have been kept busy with the usual faults like "my aircon in my hab isn't working" or "my air con is low on gas". Maybe its because they have put a screw driver through the refrigerant tubes... The other 50% of our time has been diagnosing charging faults on PMVs... How do you put nicely that they have left the lead off? Mentoring Task Force Four CAPT D.J. Irwin