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14 WORLD NEWS
Army October 15, 2009
By Capt Matt Moran
THE skilled soldiers from the
workshop team at Camp Holland
are a critical asset in ensuring
operations in Afghanistan con-
The workshop diggers are from
the Combat Service Support Team,
which is part of MRTF 2.
The vehicle mechanics, fitter-
armourers, electricians and instru-
ment fitters are putting in extra
hours to ensure the soldiers out-
side the wire have fully functional
They have been working, on
average, 10 to 12 hours a day as
they are currently in the middle of
the maintenance period.
Sgt Paul Burdin, a 21-year Army
veteran on his first deployment, is
in charge of 33 tradesmen.
"I have an excellent bunch of
guys to work with, which is making
the deployment easier," Sgt Burdin
The tradesmen work on the
MRTF's vehicles, including
Bushmasters and ASLAVs, as well
as weapons such as mortars and the
Cfn Graham Dorries said life in
the workshop in Afghanistan is dif-
ferent from anything experienced in
"The work is unpredictable. We
work on anything including Bushies,
Lavs, Macks, Mogs, Rovers, motor-
bikes and other equipment from
other ISAF partners when they
break down," Cfn Dorries said.
There are usually two to three
tradesmen working on each vehicle,
ensuring a quick turnaround.
"We work no matter what. The
main focus of the work over here
is getting the cars back out as soon
as possible and if that means a 4am
finish, then that's what we do," Cfn
"Personally I have learnt a lot
about my trade, the way the Army
works and the people around me.
The work can be demanding but it
can also be very rewarding.
"For example, when a car comes
in for repairs and it needs to be
Busy: Cfn Graham Dorries.
deployed again you get the job done,
so the overall mission can go on."
Sgt Henry Collins is in charge of
seven RAEME tradesmen specialis-
ing in fitting and machining as well
as metal fabrication and welding.
"Due to the nature of what our
troops are doing in this province and
the conditions we all work in, the
equipment they use and we main-
tain requires a lot of labour to keep
it going. It can be quite intense at
times," Sgt Collins said.
Some notable activities members
of his section have been involved in
include the manufacture of a market
area/bazaar and the fabrication of
spear pump towers to help the engi-
neers maintain the pumps that sup-
ply water for the patrol bases.
The tradesman don't just work
on vehicles at Camp Holland.
"Along with the normal work-
shop environment there is also the
Forward Repair Team tasks to other
patrol bases. Equipment may need
to be repaired around the country
side," Cfn Dorries said.
"We are not limited to our trade
here -- I have had experience recov-
ering vehicles after IED strikes, and
we've had tradesmen as drivers and
crew commanders out with the com-
bat teams in the sticks, and we have
even had people involved in a secu-
rity party for a forward operating
Check and adjust: Sgt Henry Collins inspects an 81mm mortar barrel.
Photos by Cpl Rachel Ingram
A SOLDIER was wounded on October 2 in an
explosion east of Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan.
The MRTF 2 soldier received minor wounds
while conducting a routine operation.
He received immediate first aid from his col-
leagues before he was evacuated by helicopter to an
ISAF medical facility at Tarin Kowt.
An explosive ordnance disposal team investi-
gated the incident.
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