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Craftsman : Craftsman 2012
RAEME CRAFTSMAN 2012 41 EIR Section Contrary to most thoughts; that Boffins do nothing, MTF-4 has been extremely busy and has easily turned over the most work compared to any other section (sorry greasers). The trip started off extremely cold and snowy making working outside on PMVs and ASLAVs painful. The radio area was taken care of by CFN Dan Hall who is a neat freak and was sick of CFN Andy Powlesland taking his tools and making the radio room messy. He also had a great skill of flying model helicopters around EIR. Andy and CFN Harry (Mick) Potter had a relationship like an old couple, but worked well together on anything vehicle related. Bulls#t castle as it was affectionately known consisted of CPL Dan Smith and SGT Roger 'Rog' Pruce, dealing with the vast mountain of paperwork that sometimes consisted of near 400 tech inspections per month. Although there was a lot of work and some of you may be worrying about our hardships -- we kept in the heating and Aircon as much as possible, after all we are Boffins. Recovery Section After a long, painful and relatively insignificant MRE, combined with a few too many cold bevy's on pre-dep leave, Recovery section was somehow given the green light to run around the cold... freezing cold Uruzgan Province. The crew consisted of CPL Luke Craig (being knifed with the Snake position), CPL Glen De-La-Mare (just here to take the heat off the other boys), CFN Peter White (PPE is for pussy's), and CFN Ross Henderson ('I can wheelie a wrecker). Upon landing in TK it instantly snowed, thus making the Resupply missions slow and painful - in other words business was good for Recovery Mechs, of course this was helped by the token numpty that couldn't drive a B vehicle to save his grandmother. However, we tried and tried to explain to these dip sticks that by flicking a simple switch will engage a super power known as the intermediate diff! The first major job came in the way of a heavily laden Engineer Mack and 20t carrying 2 pieces of plant jack knifing on the decent into the Miwais green zone. At minus 7 degrees celsius, 2 a.m., 30 odd flares and a lot of snow kicking later we thought the job was done ... thanks to the Americans, we were wrong ... While still at Mirwais, the Mentor Team lads thought it would be a good idea to roll a bushmaster in an aqua duct. For their stupidity the grunts were to occupy a 360 degree piquet in the freezing snow for five days, until our busy schedule allowed us to help them out. A boring Dasht run and a few weeks later Hendo was after a bit of attention, the show off that he is thought it would be cool to lift tow the extremely heavy yank wrecker, and do it in style by popping up the front end and wheeling the HRV. See pics, don't ask! The Engineers were getting jealous of Hendo's Mack abilities and tried to bust out a barrel roll with a fully laden trailer, they were shining again, with the Recovery boys were left with bits of metal and vehicle scattered across Afghan's steepest hill. Most of our work has involved either driver error or mechanic malfunction; let's hope it stays that way! RPS Section The RPS was made up of SGT Gene Tua, CPL Dave Corney, PTE Shane Heidrich and PTE Alice Little and was the first of the WKSP to arrive in the MEAO to do Q stuff. The counting went well and they were in the seat pretty quickly. Dave and Heidro run the main warehouse, so they deal with all the receipts, issues, stock control and stocktaking. A massive task as this was a huge step up from the normal business back home. The work here is constant so maintenance is alone a huge task. The closure of half the stables area forced us to move a lot of our bulk spares down to the main RPS tent, only to find the area we were supposed to move into was not ready, much to Dave's disgust (He runs a pretty tight ship over there). Heidro, the guy who never stops smiling, is becoming pretty good on the forklift with all the moving. His other duties are personal training his truckie mates and getting our Chai Latte's every now and then. Alice handles our RSG so she's pretty busy all the time, although she does find time to do a bit of on-line shopping and see her beloved Dragons play, which I suppose is because when the Rugby League is on, its time to clean the brew room which conveniently takes the same time as the game. SGT Tua has generally handled the Corporate Governance stuff LNIDS problems. However, his main duty is to keep everyone entertained during the Sunday afternoons in the exclusive Echo's restaurant, where everyone gets stuck into a couple of near beers. FromtheA1(MT3--PBWali) The two Tradies at the PB are, CPL Lee Bailey the Fitter Armament and CFN Shaun Martin the Vehicle Mechanic. We've both come to learn that our skills extend past our given trades from Plumber to Electrician, Tech Elec and "the wheels have fallen off my cushy chair can you fix it for me please?" Interaction with the Afghan National Army occurs on a daily basis to make and fix. Cultural differences occur on a daily basis, but the ANA are mostly good natured people and, unlike the two of us, they know that they are proficient in every trade including electrician (rewired all of the accommodation to run out of a single light socket from the Commanders "castle,") and Welder (repairing the 12 inch crack in their water pump with super glue). However some things they do are slightly inventive, like the hole in their diesel supply tank that they plugged with a stick and then hung a plastic bag off of it to catch the diesel that soaked through the timber or the use of figure 11 targets to repair broken windows on their international trucks (they all seem to have at least one). It's been an interesting trip to say the least and the basic technical knowledge we retain has set us up for success in all our endeavors. The other A1's: MT1 (PB Hadrian) -- CPL Rodney Chaffer and CPL Matthew Lette/LCPL Ryan Edwards MT2 (PB Mirwais) -- LCPL Matthew Klefish and LCPL Leigh Hobbs MT 6 (PB Sorkh Bid) -- LCPL Brenton Rosman/LCPL Tyler Murphy and CFN John Harvey The Other RAEME Reps: Outside of the main RAEME element, we were well supported and represented within the mentoring and OPS functions by: MAJ Michelle Dare -- S4 MTF-4 (flying the banner in MTF HQ) CAPT Lee Jarrett -- KAF LO CAPT Dave Horder -- OC Log Support Coy CAPT Rich Keller -- 2IC Log Support Coy (Dave's sidekick) CAPT Steve Madsen -- MS Coy S1/4 Mentor (Primary Chai Drinker) WO2 Pete Marron -- CSM Log Support Coy (Left all the recoveries to CPLs) SGT Jason Lee -- GSU Mentor (Lead Instructor for erecting tents in ANA compound operations