Home' Army News : February 2nd 2012 Contents Army February 2, 2012
Sgt Andrew Hetherington
TEAM Army made its yearly pil-
grimage to the national show of
revheads, burnouts and meticu-
lously built and tuned vehicles,
the Summernats car festival, in
Canberra from January 5-8.
It was the seventh time the
team visited the popular event and
its two immaculately presented
vehicles, Project Digger Ford LTD
staff car and Armygeddon, were
on display promoting Army's trade
capabilities to the public.
Project Digger Manager Lt-Col
Tom Regener said the role of the
team was to brand Army in a mot-
orsport environment to heighten
the awareness of technical trade
jobs available in the Army.
"The Army is a high-tech
organisation and there is a big
demand to recruit and train techni-
cal tradespeople," Lt-Col Regener
"We have to compete with min-
ing and a number of other indus-
tries to stimulate interest in Army's
The team consists of eight
volunteer apprentice trainees
and four staff from Army's School
of Electrical and Mechanical
Project Digger Chief Mechanic,
driver and Army mechanic trade
instructor, Sgt Stewart Watson,
joined Team Army two years ago.
He had always been interested
in motorsports and thought the
team was a great concept.
and effort to get to this year's
Summernats, which included
rebuilding Project Digger's engine,"
Sgt Watson said.
He said the engine was dam-
aged when the radiator failed after
completing a burnout performance
at a V8 Supercars event on the
Gold Coast in October last year.
"The driver was waiting to get
off the track after his performance
and the radiator failed. This caused
a bearing seizure and destroyed
a conrod, which then damaged
two cylinders, two pistons and the
"It took us a month to source
parts and rebuild the engine, but
the team finished it just in time for
The Summernats burnout per-
formance on January 6 kicked off
the 2012 burnout masters competi-
tion.This year, Team Army will also
attend the Formula 1 Grand Prix
in Melbourne, numerous job and
trade fairs, and V8 Supercar races.
Project Digger revs again New unit
Fourth rotation of Army camels start duty
Cpl Melanie Schinkel
DROMEDARIES Sam and Kali
assumed the names Penny and Vernon
and were officially welcomed to 26 Tpt
Sqn and 9FSB to serve as unit mascots
at RAAF Base Amberley late last year.
The camels were named in honour of
Lt-Col Robert Vernon Andrew, a former
26 Tpt Sqn OC who served during the
1970s, and his wife Penny.
Since 1974, camels have served as 26
Tpt Sqn's mascots to represent the Royal
Australian Corps of Transport's (RACT)
capability and motto, Par Oneri, meaning
"equal to the task" and remind personnel
of the RACT's links to the Camel Corps
of World War I.
Lt Clinton Carter, 26 Tpt Sqn's
camel officer, said Sam and Kali were
the fourth pair to be named Vernon
and Penny. The previous mascots were
replaced as part of a regular rotation plan
with the Northern Territory-based organi-
sation Camels Australia.
The first camel mascots were caught
by members of the squadron in 1985,
but since then the owner and operator
of Camels Australia, Neil Waters, has
assisted with the training and breeding of
new camel mascots for the squadron.
"Members of the squadron take care
of Vernon and Penny after they have
completed a one-week camel handling
course in Stuart's Well with Neil," Lt
"Neil has decades of camel wrangling
experience and provides them with train-
ing on the correct care and handling of
camels, as well as how to conduct camel
rides and ride solo safely.
"Upon completion of their training,
the camel handlers look after the camels
and are responsible for training and lead-
ing them on task during military parades
and community events."
Vernon and Penny not only represent
26 Tpt Sqn and 9FSB, but also RAAF
Base Amberley as part of the wider
"They are viewed by the people of
Ipswich as 'the Army camels' and are
always received with excitement. I think
their excitement is an expression of their
acceptance and pride in the Army and
Air Force members who live and work in
Ipswich," he said.
"Last year, Vernon and Penny were
the star attractions during the Operation
Queensland Flood Assist parade through
Ipswich, which was hosted by Ipswich
City Council to provide the local com-
munity with the opportunity to thank all
the military and civilian personnel who
assisted during the flood response and
He said the squadron relied solely on
sponsorships and donations to fund the
camels' food, veterinary care, harnesses,
trailer maintenance and other associated
"Vernon and Penny are great ambas-
sadors for the ADF and always manage to
put smiles on the faces of everyone they
As long as they are not required
for duty, Vernon and Penny are avail-
able to support military or civilian events
All enquiries regarding appearances, sponsor-
ships or donations should be directed to Lt Carter
Star attractions: Unit mascots Vernon and Penny strut their stuff at the
Operation Queensland Flood Assist parade in Ipswich.
Chief Mechanic Sgt
Troy Simmonds, left,
and Mark Hombsch
as they work on
(inset) engine at
Photos by Sgt Andrew
Are you an Active or Standby Reservist who would like to do
additional Reserve work?
Are you looking for an opportunity to experience Army and the
ADO outside the Reserve unit?
Army has established a program that provides additional
workforce opportunities for Reservists. Administered and
managed by the Active Standby Staff Group (ASSG), the program
matches reservist military and civilian skills with vacancies within
Army and the ADO.
There are a variety of tasks or projects that can be performed
remotely or on site over short and long periods. The type of work
you perform is based on your availability and choice.
Registration is quick and easy, accessible on the ASSG website:
For more information contact
or 02 6266 5559 or 1800 808 073
Your Time Your Choice Your ASSG
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