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Army November 24, 2011
By Lt Fiona Bickerstaff
ON EXERCISE and with his
face covered in cam cream Bdr
Ross Wagland, 7 Fd Regt, got his
marching orders for East Timor.
After getting called out of a gun
line last month by his RSM, Bdr
Wagland thought he was heading
home. Instead he was asked to pre-
pare for deployment.
Bdr Wagland had been tak-
ing part in Exercise Octavian
Augustus, a Combined Arms
Training Activity (CATA) con-
ducted by 8 Bde.
"We had just finished a fire plan
and I was meant to leave the exer-
cise on that day, but as I came out
the RSM told me the good news,"
Bdr Wagland said.
Up until then, Bdr Wagland
had been participating in fire and
movement training and fire plan-
ning activities with his unit, which
had conducted a live-fire exercise that
CO 7 Fd Regt Lt-Col Grant Palmer
said Bdr Wagland was quickly dispatched
across to the medical centre at the School
of Inf in Singleton to start his medical
assessment ahead of deployment.
"I am very proud of Bdr Wagland
and his ability to get himself organised
and ready for a short-notice deployment
while we are still out in the field," Lt-Col
"He is going over there because he is
very good at his job, a very good junior
NCO and an example to the rest of the
"I farewelled him from the regiment
Pulled off exercise
to deploy to Timor
today and the lads are very supportive of
him going over. That support from his
mates is very good to see."
Lt-Col Palmer shared in his unit's sup-
port and enthusiasm for Bdr Wagland's
imminent deployment, despite losing him
and his expertise from the exercise.
"We had to do some reorganisation of
manning on the gun line, but it's better
that Bdr Wagland goes to East Timor and
we'll worry about that here. That's our
focus; people on operations."
Bdr Wagland, a NSW police officer of
11 years, is in his 20th year in the ARes
and takes a wealth of experience with him
as a detachment commander for a sig-
nals section, as part of Timor-Leste Task
Stepping up: Bdr Ross Wagland was taken
off the gun line during 8 Bde's CATA to
deploy at short notice to East Timor.
Photo by Lt Fiona Bickerstaff
By Cfn Max Bree
IF YOU'RE driving down a new
road on the Singleton range any
time soon, chances are you will
have some Holsworthy-based
reservists to thank for it.
21 Const Regt and their heavy
machinery earned a place in the
hearts of Singleton range control dur-
ing Ex Waratah Ready.
The team dug out and trucked
away about 3500 cubic metres of
road base from two local quarries to
build new roads and repair old ones
around the Singleton range.
The sappers built a new 400m
road and refurbished another 2.5km
of existing carriageway, much to the
delight of range controllers.
Tradesmen from 21 Const Regt
also teamed up with 5CER and built
an impressive sandstone wall and
wooden Rising Sun at the range con-
21 Const Regt's acting OPSO,
WO1 Bill Van Etten, said people
were always keen to put the sappers
"When we show up, we've
always got tradesmen and plant oper-
ators," he said. "So they'll milk you
dry if they can.
"But we don't care; we just do
the jobs and it keeps the boys well
Sappers in the field were also
kept busy constructing mortar pits,
ammo bunkers and pulling old tanks
21 Const Regt's Littoral Riverine
Survey Sqn, the ADF's only hydro-
graphical surveyors, scanned
the bays and inlets around Lake
Macquarie using the latest underwa-
ter mapping software.
These skills are used to clear
waterways before heavy landing craft
approach the shore.
21 Const Regt CO Lt-Col Tony
Rogers said junior NCOs and senior
sappers performed well when given
the lead on the regiment's tasks.
"They had to plan the jobs them-
selves," Lt-Col Rogers said.
"It required a fair bit of planning;
it wasn't a simple job of going out
and doing it."
By the time the sappers packed
up their trucks and plant equip-
ment they achieved much more than
expected, according to WO1 Van
"We went up there to do certain
engineer tasks and we came home
having done a lot more," he said.
Paving the way
Digging deep: Cpl Phil Glastonbury, 5CER, works with 21 Const
Regt sappers to build a mortar pit during Ex Waratah Ready.
Photo by Maj James Wackett
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