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Army July 5, 2012
Capt Jillian Gaze
TOWNSVILLE radio hosts CK and
Blake faced physical challenges as they
experienced life as soldiers and broadcast
their popular morning show live from
The two self-confessed "metrosexu-
als" swapped moisturiser and hair gel for
cam cream and bush hats as they were
put through their paces in the Boys to
Men Challenge by the soldiers of B Coy,
2RAR, on June 13.
Without time to relax or admire their
new looks, the two radio personalities
were sent straight into platoon bayonet
training where they were urged to get
aggressive and do it like they meant it.
Thinking the physical part was over,
they were shocked to be sent on a 2.8km
run kitted out in body armour and web-
bing before firing Steyrs and pistols at
the 25m range.
Cliff "CK" Kern said the experience
"We drive past the barracks all the
time and it's great to get an opportunity
to see and show our listeners what goes
on here," he said.
"We got to live every kid's dream --
firing a gun in the Army."
CK was quickly corrected he was
in fact firing a rifle and proceeded to
earn himself the nickname "Hairstyles"
because of his manicured mane.
Co-host Blake Pottenden did not
miss out in the nickname stakes and was
appointed with the title of "Princess"
because of his interesting battle cries
during bayonet training.
Blake said Lavarack Barracks and
those who worked there were an impor-
tant part of the local community.
"It's great to learn so much about the
day-to-day activities," he said.
LCpl Andrew Alce, of 2RAR, was the
personalities' host for the day and said
Blake did really well.
"He ran the whole way and didn't
look too bad by the end," he said.
"CK on the other hand, well, he got
there with some help from the vehicle."
The radio hosts returned to Lavarack
Barracks on June 15 to complete their
experience and, while broadcasting live,
they were visited by members of units in
3 Bde, who gave them an insight into the
While the boys did not have the hair
cuts and a little too much designer stub-
ble to be considered for Army life, their
week with 3 Bde certainly toughened
them up and gave them a new respect for
the men and women serving their nation.
Disc jocks shocked
into military life
Cpl Max Bree
TWO extra Chinooks have been
added to the Army's chopper fleet
with a handover ceremony in
Townsville on June 8.
The 1990s-era CH-47D aircraft
were acquired from the US Army.
The purchase may prove timely,
with engineers currently investi-
gating whether a Chinook can be
repaired after suffering heavy land-
ing in Afghanistan on June 22 (see
page 13 for more details).
Commander of the Cargo
Helicopter Management Unit,
Lt-Col Tyron De Boer, said the two
older Chinooks were purchased
as an interim measure before the
scheduled arrival of new CH-47F
models in 2014 and 2016.
"The whole project from start
to initial operational capability was
just over 12 months," he said.
During January, the Chinooks
were taken from a US Army base in
Germany and loaded onto C-17s for
the trip to Australia.
The choppers spent the next few
months in heavy maintenance and
being upgraded with Australian
modifications to be ready for
They will receive addition-
al upgrades and be available for
deployment around mid-2013.
Two new chooks
Heavy-lift choppers handed over in Townsville
Air power: New heavy-lift Chinooks have been delivered to 5 Avn Regt in Townsville.
File photo by Cpl Mark Doran
Soldier stories: Townsville radio hosts Cliff Kern and Blake Pottenden
interview a 3/4 Cav Regt trooper at Lavarack Barracks while broadcasting their
radio show from the base.
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