Home' Army News : April 20th 2017 Contents Unit Plaques
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April 20, 2017
Cpl Mark Doran
THE Terminal Velociraptors
(Defence) placed second in the
four-way formation skydiving at
the Australian National Skydiving
Championships in York, Western
Australia, from March 21-25.
The 10 members of the Defence
skydiving team also competed in the
eight-way formation skydiving and
canopy piloting and, for the first time,
a Defence member competed in the
newly recognised discipline of wing-
suit performance racing.
Four-way formation skydiving is
a technically and physically demand-
ing sport with teams of four skydivers
performing different formations.
An aerial camera person accompa-
nies the performers on every dive to
record the jump for judging purposes.
Spr Trudy Keys, of 14 Fd Sqn,
said she had been skydiving for four
years with about 350 jumps notched-
up so far.
“The best part of skydiving is
doing it with friends and being a part
of the community and culture,” she
“As soon as we walk into a drop
zone we meet people with a common
Competitions at national and inter-
national levels consist of 10 jumps,
with a sequence of five to six prede-
termined formations performed on
At the start of the competition
Leut Kiz Welling-
THE Australian Defence
Force Rugby Union (ADFRU)
Women are preparing to take on
Australia’s best in a bid for vic-
tory and international Wallaroo
The team will compete in Pool
A of the Australian Rugby Union
(ARU) National 15s Women’s
Championships on the Gold Coast
from May 12-14.
After a strong season last year
and an unbeaten tour of America,
they will take on Sydney, Western
Australia and South Australia in
their pool games during the com-
Cpl Lucy Lockhart, of 6RAR,
said it was the strongest women’s
team they have had in a long time.
“We will leave nothing on the
park at the nationals,” she said.
“I think we have the potential
and the attitude to do really well.
“It is also the final chance to
get noticed by ARU selectors and
I am sure that will push players a
little bit further than they thought
they could go.”
The national competition will
follow the ADFRU champion-
ships and training camp before
their first big game against
Their progress can be followed at
Cpl Max Bree
ARMY had an each-way bet on the
first AFL women’s grand final with
soldiers taking to the field in both
sides of a showdown between the
Brisbane Lions and Adelaide Crows.
Pte Heather Anderson, of 1CHB,
ran on for the Crows and Pte Kate
Lutkins, of 2/14 LHR (QMI), hit the
field with the Lions on the Gold Coast
on March 25.
The highly anticipated game was
played in front of 15,610 people, with
the underdog Adelaide team beating
the previously undefeated Brisbane
side 4.11.35 to 4.5.29.
Crows halfback Pte Anderson knew
it would be a tough fight after they
lost their previous encounter with the
Lions by six points.
“Their skill level and drive was
intense. It was terrifying to come up
against them,” she said.
“This time we just had a better
understanding of how to shut them
“They had a couple of key play-
ers and locking them down was key,
along with creating opportunities up
Adelaide scored first and played an
aggressive game that put Pte Lutkins
and the rest of the Brisbane players
“They were constantly peppering
our backline throughout the whole
game and spent most of the game in
our back half,” Pte Anderson said.
“It was hard to get back the two
minutes we needed to recover, but the
game was so close all the way to the
“We were trying to get that goal
back but couldn’t get the break we
Adelaide led by six points at
half-time and kept up its attack on
the Lions to maintain the lead. Pte
Anderson dislocated her right shoulder
in a vigorous tackle towards the end
of the fourth quarter and could only
watch a late Lions attack.
“The last 10 minutes was intense.
We had three or four players come off
with significant cramps,” she said.
“They were surging onto our back-
line and it looked like they were going
to get over the top of us in the last five
But the Crows defence held and
they were still six points ahead when
the final siren sounded.
“I’ve never been so happy in my
life,” Pte Anderson said.
“I was bawling. I came off with a
pretty significant injury. It would’ve
been pretty bad losing a grand final
and sustaining an injury.
“There was just relief that it
worked out. It was one of the things
we wanted so badly and for it to come
off was just incredible.”
Pte Anderson was starting rehab to
recover from her injury and hoped to
play with the Crows again.
“The girls are like family. It would
be pretty hard to have to leave them,”
“I’ll try not to set myself a time
limit because it’s going to be a pretty
long process getting back to an opti-
mum level of fitness.”
Despite the Lions’ grand final loss,
Pte Lutkins was happy to have made it
so far after her team started the season
as favourites for the wooden spoon.
“It might have been the stereotype
of us being a Queensland team but I
think it was a motivating factor,” she
“It was amazing, even coming
away with the loss, to be one of the
teams in the grand final.
“Nothing can take that away.”
Rugby women gear up for strong season
Air up there
Soldiers head west for national skydiving competition
judges pick the formations to be per-
formed on each dive from a set pool
of 38 formations.
On each dive the competitors have
35 seconds, starting from the moment
they leave the aircraft, to complete the
set sequence of formations as many
times as possible.
Spr Keys said it was great to be a
part of the Defence skydiving team.
“They have a fantastic program
including the military nationals each
year,” she said.
“It’s always good to catch up with
other ADF members and see how
their skills have progressed.
“We won the silver medal in WA
but we were close to winning gold.”
The Terminal Velociraptors
formed four years ago and have com-
pleted more than 200 jumps together.
They won the Military Skydiving
Nationals Competition in 2016.
Their lead-up to competition
included training camps and train-
ing in the indoor skydiving tunnel in
The Terminal Velociraptors in action over York, Western Australia.
CAPT James McKew, of ADFA,
hit ground speeds of 295km/h as
he became the first ADF member
to compete in wingsuit perfor-
mance racing during the Australian
National Skydiving Championships.
Winning third place in the
competition, in Western Australia
at March 21, meant he was also
selected to represent Australia
in the Wingsuiting World Cup at
Nevada, US, in November.
Wingsuiting is a sub-discipline
of skydiving, where competitors
wear a nylon suit to glide vast
A wingsuit allows the pilot to
gain an average of three or four
times as much free-fall as a regu-
lar skydiver and travel at speeds
Capt McKew won a bronze
medal in the competition and said
qualifying for the World Cup to rep-
resent Australia and the ADF was
“Being able to learn from the
best wingsuit pilots in the world is
an excellent opportunity to develop
as a competitor,” he said.
“I also aspire to use wingsuiting
as a unique publicity opportunity
where pilots can fly a custom-made
logoed suit to raise awareness of
Wingsuiting is one of the most
Winging it into the Aussie team
advanced forms of skydiving and a
regular skydiver needs a minimum
of 200 jumps before being eligible to
begin a wingsuit first-flight course.
Capt McKew said during the per-
formance competition pilots exited
the plane 800m above the altitude
where their assessment commenced.
This enables them to generate verti-
cal speed and energy to help their
performance during the assessment.
“We then need to transition this
energy into lift as we enter the
window by flaring the suit,” he said.
“A good pilot can actually gain
altitude in the flare. It comes down
to physical strength with a strong
understanding of aerodynamics and
experience to fly a high-performance
Capt McKew has been skydiv-
ing for six years and has completed
more than 600 skydives and 400
In December last year wingsuit-
ing was approved as a competitive
discipline with the ADF Parachuting
Capt James McKew
flies over York, WA,
during the Australian
Pte Heather Anderson is
tackled during the AFL
women’s grand final.
Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media
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