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Craftsman : Craftsman 2013
RAEME CRAFTSMAN 2013 Well another year has gone by and time does not seem to slow down for JLU(N), as it continues to provide for its customers across the NT and Kimberly region. There are many challenges with dealing with all three services and little units spread throughout the region. Well that's in between enjoying the number of activities that can be done in the great outdoors in Northern Australia. Like any other unit, the New Year brings along the normal posting in and out cycle. The Unit has been crippled by vacancies although RFS has been lucky; at this stage we have only two vacant positions, which is manageable but brings some difficulties with maintaining all the fleets up here. Members posted out or moved on to take up a new challenge include, Simon Butler on promotion to WO1 to take a position in sunny Melbourne at BCOG. SGT Brendan Ashlin (AKA -- WELBER) posted to ALTC Robertson Barracks, CAPT David Hindmarsh to Holding Platoon at Latchford Barracks, Col Smith took up a job at Buslink, Jason Moon with Sealink and Glen Murdock to Bris Vegas at JLU-SQ. Members posted in Jan 13, CPL Parsons from 8/12 Regt; SGT Nixon from HQ 3 Bde & WO2 Owen from 1 CSSB. WO1 Aaron Writer continues his fight for funding that plagues all JLC units and is the backbone of the RFS. We have had more wins than losses in the funding stakes; our budget has risen from just over $3.8M to a tad over $8M. This has helped maintain the ageing fleets of vehicles and keeps the lads at 1 Bde happy (well somewhat happy anyway). We are now in the race to spend it all before the EOFY and be careful not to overspend at the same time. Our Fearless leader Merv had a little holiday overseas, as he was deployed into a JLC position, but he did come back with a lovely tan and he managed to find the elusive midget. Its hard to believe that the government funded his bucket list for that. Capt Nation (OIC stocktakes) has been busy developing stock take plans and schedules for this year and also the transition to new. He has almost forgot that he was ever in RAEME but he can tell you all about the Q side of things and is pretty good at doing QA's as well. SGT Nixon was posted in as the repair manager for communications and electrical equipment. Soon after arriving he was away to walk those hills of sunny Canungra to complete his Sub 1 WO. On return he was promoted to WO2 and as a reward was given a role on the Gecko Club committee. As an eleccy, Matt is all over Comms fleet and the state of disarray it is in now that our Medium Repair Facility (MRF) has been down for the best part of six months. WO2 Owen had a late posting into JLU(N) as he was deployed from September to March on Op Slipper as part of the PMV FIET. He has settled into his position as the Marine repair manager, not that we would know as he spends a lot of time out of the office so we think he's settled. It must've been in the handover that Al Surjan and Moony left- Disappear often. CPL Parsons was snavelled by HQ to take up the reins of WH&S manager, as the current APS employee had deployed with the RAAF. He is equally loved and hated by the HQ girls with his fondness for cream buns, not sure this tactic will work so well when he comes back to the maintenance side. He has taken the WHS world by storm and is making the workplace a safer environment in the process. Once he gets that area ship-shape we are hoping he comes back over to the brethren to get his teeth into the maintenance planning and forecasting space so he can do what we do best and fix stuff. WO2's Plunkett and Hucker (Steve & Col) have continued annoying the contractor and keeping them honest, while Phil Stacey has the dubious task of looking after that cumbersome incredibly reliable Heavy Tank Transporter (HTT) which can be seen littered along the Stuart Hwy. Grant McKenzie has been beavering away with all things Merlo (and no I don't mean the red wine) as well as pestering MACK to fix 2 TTF's and 2 TTW's (that 1 CSSB kindly rolled to enable us the chance to fix them) in record time to ensure Aaron wins his bet with the Ace at the CSS. It looks like the bet will be won, time to pay up George ... We have a token AVO as well, WO2 Sean Nilon. He is the loan pool terrier. Nothing is getting in or out without his keen RAEMEATION eye cast over the details. Without him I dare say that Gary Naylor would be an angry redhead ... Wait a minute ... Activities the members have being involved in include the RAEME birthday function for 2012, which JLU(N) ended up winning the Tug-a-war competition against much younger and enthusiastic components. There is no substitute for cubes was the theme for the day from JLU(N). JLU(N) hastily put together a team and was ready for the challenge. With big blue as anchor, they were not going to be easily budged. Big blue even had time to take a seat during one of the pulls, but the team still did not lose any ground. ANZAC day 2013 rolled on so we dusted the cobwebs off the old poly's and attached ourselves to the rear of one of the RAAF squadrons for the mid-morning stroll through Darwin, we were taught the RAAF way of marching -- square gating, This appeared to be the way they marched so when in Rome ... We were up for any challenge, well most of us, the boss (CAPT Nation) did not even make it to the form up point, when he became soul less just getting to the FUP so could take no further part dressed in his high shine slippers. JLU(N) like all JLU business units is undergoing significant change and rebuilding. The new DLTP way forward, doing more with less people, the way it just is. The section will be restructured to meet our new job descriptions. We are eagerly awaiting the soil turning ceremony which will mark the beginning of construction of our new digs out at Robertson Barracks. This will be a huuuuuge advantage to how we provide maintenance support to the region especially 1 Bde, our largest dependant. If all goes to the signed off plans we will be occupying the new buildings in Dec 14. Watch this space. The DIDS transition is another significant milestone to hit us this year. In August we will transition from BAE to Transfield. This will be a new contract and a shift in the way we are currently doing things. We will have more control over how and when we do things and the budget will be able to be managed rather than reacted to, as is the current practice. There will be many challenges like any new contract, but we hope that the transition will occur smoothly. Well, this is just a short note, as there are more important things on the horizon, there is the annual fishing trip to get organised for, followed by golf day or Friday BBQ cooked by Plunks, it is a hard life up here in the north. This is a great little posting, that sadly many don't ever get the opportunity to experience. If you are keen to either stay in Darwin or just come to Darwin and would like a new experience, then why not let SCMA know you would like to try working at a JLU. Who knows you might even enjoy it. JLU(N) WO2 Matthew Nixon