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Army October 27, 2011
SOLDIERS uniforms are set
for rigorous testing thanks to
a new facility opened at the
Defence Science and Technology
Organisation (DSTO) in
Melbourne on October 7.
The new Environment
Simulation Centre features an
articulated mannequin that will
test current and future uniform
designs in simulated environments
ranging from -20° to 50° Celsius.
DSTO researchers will use the
facility to assess the performance
and function of ADF clothing
including existing uniforms, new
materials and new design options.
They will also be able to assess
the limits of physical human per-
formance in extreme climates.
Defence Science and Personnel
Minister Warren Snowdon said
the new facility would vastly
improve old testing methods.
"This is a major improvement
on the existing system of testing
which used small swatch samples
cut from uniforms or rolls of
cloth," Mr Snowdon said.
"The fully kitted-out, moving
mannequin will substitute as a
virtual soldier and allow the entire
ensemble to be evaluated in a
"It will help refine the design
of combat clothing, so it offers
more comfort, protection and inte-
grates better with other
By Cpl Melanie Schinkel
IF PUNK bands Unwritten Law and
Pennywise conceived a love child, it
would be Cpl Peter Hart's Brisbane-
based band The Black Catapult, aka
TBC, which is a semi-finalist in the
international Emergenza band com-
An Army operations clerk from
Canungra's Defence Intelligence
Training Centre and three tradies
make up the energetic four-piece band
formed in 2007.
Since then, David Reynolds
(vocals), Tyrell Reavey (guitar), Brad
James (bass guitar) and Cpl Hart
(drums) have recorded a four-track
EP, State the Obvious, and supported a
number of successful artists including
Butterfingers, Reel Big Fish, Toe to Toe
and the Butterfly Effect.
This year TBC has been busy gig-
ging and competing in band competi-
tions to raise its profile and expand its
fan base. Cpl Hart said the band mem-
bers had their sights set on winning
the Emergenza band competition; the
world's biggest live band festival which
began in mid-April.
"We have competed against about
60 bands and will play in the Brisbane
finals on November 12 at The Hi-Fi in
West End," Cpl Hart said.
"If we win, we'll fly to Sydney to
compete in the Australian finals against
the top three bands from each state.
"I think we have done really well in
the comp so far. We're the only punk
band competing in the finals and our
stage presence is good because we have
a lot of fun while performing. We have
a special surprise lined up for the finals,
but I can't tell you what we're doing --
it's a secret."
He said managing his Army and
muso careers was a juggling act at
"The guys are really understand-
ing and totally supportive of my Army
career. They know I am required to go
away on courses and exercises. We all
have lives outside of the band but when
we do get together we practise twice as
hard to make up for lost time.
"The live music scene in Brisbane
and on the Gold Coast is very narrow.
If you're not an indie band, it's hard
to get a look in. We're just marking
time and doing our thing. With popular
bands like Blink 182 re-releasing mate-
rial, the hype around punk rock music
is increasing so the style is becoming
TBC are in the process of plan-
ning an east coast tour and gearing up
to compete in the Miami Shark Bar's
Last Band Standing competition on
Cpl Hart said TBC was also mak-
ing arrangements to head back into the
"We are hoping to head to West
Sydney in April next year to record our
second EP. I just love the energy and
excitement of punk rock music. It's not
dreary or upsetting -- it's just raw music
that's fun to play and listen to."
For more information on The Black Catapult's
music and gigs go to http://www.facebook.
com/theblackcatapult or show your support
by listening, downloading and voting for TBC's
tracks on http://www.triplejunearthed.com
Beating the odds
Rocking good time: Cpl Peter Hart, DITC, plays the drums with
his band The Black Catapult. The band has reached the semi finals
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