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Top guns: Gunners from 2/10
Fd Regt participate in a live-fire
exercise during the culmination
of their mortar conversion
course. Photo by Maj Ian Toohill
By Cpl Corinne Boer
IN JUST two days soldiers from
9 Bde improved 5km of fire
breaks, removed dangerous play-
ground equipment and central-
ised the community refuse area in
Gerard during a training activity
from November 13-15.
The units deployed to the
Gerard Aboriginal Community,
230km north-east of Adelaide, for a
reconstruction and security opera-
Adjt 10/27RSAR Capt Matthew
Ford said the task was mutually
"Not only did the activity pro-
vide combined-arms training and
working with other units within 9
Bde, we also accommodated the
community's highest priority which
was the maintenance of the fire
breaks," Capt Ford said.
"We took the elders to meet the
soldiers and they inspected the fire
breaks. They were ecstatic."
The soldiers were challenged
by an environment they would not
usually operate in.
They encountered the people
from the community moving with-
in the training area and the soldiers
also endured extreme heat with the
mercury hovering in the mid 40s.
Pte Bob Tweedie, 10/27RSAR,
job for 9 Bde
By Maj Arnaud Ng
SOLDIERS within 2 Div recently
completed a month-long conversion
course from 105mm M2A2 and L119
Howitzers to the 81mm mortar system.
About 90 soldiers and officers quali-
fied in all aspects of the mortar-trade
They completed a 5km route march
through the Puckapunyal Military Area
as part of an intense training period.
Chief Instructor Lt-Col Brandon
Wood thanked everyone for their com-
mitment to the course.
"You have ably demonstrated...that
RAA personnel are capable of drawing
on the levels of absolute professional-
ism that have long been exhibited while
serving the guns and applying this to
mastering the mortar capability," Lt-Col
The conversion was directed by
Commander Forcomd Maj-Gen David
Morrison in April to maintain an indi-
rect-fire capability within the Army
Reserve by providing a skills base for
the training of High Readiness Reserve
Joint Fires Teams and individual rein-
forcement of Army operations.
was a rifleman in the protection
party for the engineers. He said
they crammed in a lot of work
despite the heat.
"It's just what the Army
Reserve do," Pte Tweedie said.
Pte Tweedie became the focus
of the media when he received
a soldiers' medallion in the field
for his 35 years of service in the
He was interviewed by ABC
and Win television.
"I was gob smacked at the
time. I didn't even have a chance
think about the questions they
were asking," he said.
Tough break: A combat
engineer from 3 Fd Sqn works
on a fire break.
Army December 10, 2009
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