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Army November 8, 2012
Sappers' bang for buck
Capt Felicity Hamblin
SOLDIERS from 22 Const Regt
proved their mettle recently with the
successful execution of Exercise Big
Held over four days at Puckapunyal,
the exercise centred on demolition prac-
tice, renovating the engineering com-
pound HQ building and fixing the area
About 20 sappers braved the cool
conditions while working to construct
a bailey bridge as
the main demolition
target. They fixed
cutting and catering
charges to achieve
the bridge demolition
and, for many, it was
their first time work-
ing with explosives.
Smith said the week-
end had been the
highlight of his Army
"It was quite exciting actually," he
said. "It was the first time I had used
demolitions. We did a simulated contact
and building the bridge itself and learning
a lot of new techniques was great."
He said he learnt a lot about demoli-
tions in general, particularly about high
and low explosives.
"I quite enjoyed building the bridge
because it was the first time I'd seen a
bailey bridge. We all had a great time get-
ting out and doing this because we don't
get out field too often."
On the day of the demolitions, the
'Old Sapper' organisations arrived to take
part in the activities and watch what the
sappers of today did with their equipment.
Reg Morrell, of the Royal Australian
Artillery Association, said he was
impressed with the work of the sappers
and was interested to see the changes
in equipment over the past few decades.
"It would have been good if we could
have been right there to actually see the
explosion but of course we had to be in
the bunker for safety reasons," he said.
"The shake in the ground and seeing
the destruction afterwards was great. I
thoroughly enjoyed the whole day and I
was really impressed with the attitudes
and work carried out by the sappers."
While the demolition activities
impressed the visitors, riding in two
Bushmasters was the icing on the cake.
"All the chaps
it was tremen-
dous. Having rid-
den in the back
of many Army
vehicles over my
time, I thought
it was a fantas-
tic machine," Mr
months of plan-
ning, a television-
style "renovation rescue" had the trades-
men team up in two groups to transform
the existing office building in 72 hours.
Lt Natalie Canham said it was a great
opportunity to put the soldiers' skills to
good use while encouraging friendly
"We wanted to provide an area for our
leaders to work in and, most importantly,
provide an area for our sappers to have
a rest during their demanding working
day," she said.
"We had 15 members working on the
renovation. They put in new floor cover-
ings, a new kitchenette for our brew area,
Lt Canham said the sappers also pro-
vided a new wicket for the local cricket
club.CO Lt Col Darren Potter said he was
impressed with the hard work and com-
mitment shown by the soldiers.
22 Const Regt helps out at Puckapunyal
Helping hand: Cpl Peter Borzdynski, of 22 Const
Regt, repairs a window as part of the renovation of
the office block at the unit's Puckapunyal training
facility. Inset, the sappers' completed bailey bridge
ready for demolition.
Photos by Maj Ian Toohill
I quite enjoyed
building the bridge
because it was the
first time I'd seen a
-- Spr Bradley Smith, 22 Const Regt
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