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Army June 23, 2011
Engineers dust off skills
By Maj Haydn Barlow
WITH some of his mates currently performing
one of the Army's toughest and most dangerous
jobs in Afghanistan, Darwin's top sapper crown
rests uneasily on Spr James Constable's head.
Spr Constable was awarded the title after the
1CER military skills competition on May 13, top-
ping the scores in a range of all-corps and combat-
engineer skills tests.
"It is an honour to win the award this year, but
I'm sure it would have been tougher had some of
the blokes who are currently deployed been here,"
"It is a daunting job, but someone has to do it
to keep everyone else safe."
OC 1 Fd Sqn Maj Jamie Twidale said the mili-
tary skills competition allowed the unit to take
stock of individual skill levels in preparation for
its rigorous training cycle.
"Our more senior soldiers will soon return
home from Afghanistan with a wealth of combat
experience and new ideas," he said.
"It's important there is not too big a gulf
between the capability of those who deployed and
those who stayed home.
"This activity has allowed us to certify the
individual skills of those who remained home.
Next is to develop collective skills on Exercise
Talisman Sabre so that in a few months' time,
when everyone has returned from leave, we will
have a reasonably homogenous group to take for-
ward into Exercise Hamel next year."
Maj Twidale said the road to Ex Hamel would
"We have a busy year ahead of us and before
we know it, we will be preparing for operations
again," he said.
Handle with care: Spr Trevor Feilen brushes dirt from a suspected IED during the 1CER military skills competition. Inset, competition
winner Spr James Constable, right, receives the perpetual cup from CO Lt-Col Matt Pearse.
Photos by Maj Haydn Barlow and Spr Jason Cimino
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