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Army March 15, 2012
Recruits join flood effort
AFTER 83 days of intensive training,
ARTC Kapooka's 56 newest graduates
could have been forgiven for thinking
they'd have at least a couple of days of
Instead, one day after marching off
the parade ground the members of 33 Pl
found themselves in the middle of emer-
gency response duties as the flood waters
began to rise in the NSW Riverina.
ARTC Commandant Col David Hay
said it was a fantastic way for the Army's
newest soldiers to begin their careers.
"Literally one day off course and they
found themselves filling sandbags and
helping to evacuate residents from the
North Wagga Wagga area," Col Hay said.
"I was extremely proud of the way in
which the soldiers conducted themselves
and also in the commitment they gave to
help the local community.
"Through their actions, our newest
soldiers were able to demonstrate to the
Riverina that Kapooka is a proud resident
of Wagga Wagga and that our people are
very much part of the region too.
efforts, which no doubt added a degree
of stress to those involved.
"I'm very proud of the efforts of all
of those in the battalion who looked out
for each other and the community they
"It was a great honour to meet the
Prime Minister when she visited the
region and troops really appreciated her
thanks and words of encouragement."
Recruit instructor Cpl Glen Lawrence
said his 44 Pl recruits were very keen
and highly motivated to lend a hand.
"They were jumping out of their skins
to get into it," he said.
"They were all hooking in pretty well
because they wanted to out perform the
RAAF team they'd just relieved.
"By the end of their shift they filled
30 pallets of 40 sandbags."
Cpl Lawrence said he gave a lesson
on sandbagging before work started.
"I explained to them about headers
and stretchers, and weak points, so the
blokes would get some training value out
of it," he said.
"The SES put on a barbecue but the
boys were that motivated they didn't
want to stop."
"I can't think of a better way to start a
career in the Army than that."
Another unit which was quick to
swing into action was 1RTB, which
formed the majority of the Army Defence
Aid to the Civil Community (DACC)
CO 1RTB Lt-Col Steve D'Arcy said
about 140 staff and recruits formed the
DACC headquarters and conducted tasks
such as sandbag filling, evacuation assis-
tance and flood levee reinforcement.
"We formed and responded to the ini-
tial crisis, stood up a DACC headquarters
in very quick order and demonstrated
significant flexibility in moving from our
core training mission to providing sup-
port to the community," he said.
"We had about 40 of our staff who
needed to evacuate their own houses
while the battalion was supporting the
[The recruits] were
all hooking in
pretty hard because
they wanted to out
perform the RAAF
team they'd just
-- Cpl Glen Lawrence, 1RTB
Newest soldiers march off Kapooka parade ground and into Wagga emergency response
Welcome to the Army: Recruits march through Wagga Wagga to assist with flood relief. Inset, the full extent of the flooding is clear from the air.
Main photo by Addison Hamilton, Wagga Daily Advertiser
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