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Army January 31, 2013
WO2 Andrew Hetherington
SOMETIMES being deployed on oper-
ations can throw a spanner in the works
when it comes to birthdays.
But more than 90 RAEME personnel
deployed to Multinational Base Tarin
Kot in Afghanistan actually threw span-
ners during the corps' 70th birthday cel-
A barbecue, milk sculling and span-
ner throwing competitions, and a Legacy
and Commando Welfare Trust fundrais-
ing raffle kept the resourceful RAEME
personnel occupied during the afternoon
break from fixing Army's mechanical
Birthday organiser and OIC of the
Bushmaster rotation team, Capt Chris
Dent, said the event was a great chance
for RAEME personnel to get together.
"It was exciting celebrating the
corps' birthday deployed on operations,"
Capt Dent said.
LCpl Erin Taylor, a vehicle mechan-
ic with FSU 7, is one of two female
RAEME personnel deployed to Tarin
Kot.For her, celebrating the birth of her
corps was a special occasion.
"It's my first deployment and I'm
glad we got the chance to celebrate the
day here," she said.
"I thought the deployment would be
more chaotic than it's been, but we've
been able to get into a good working
Cfn Matthew Ansell, a recovery
mechanic with the 7RAR Task Group
workshops, dressed up for the occasion
in a sheriff's costume.
"This outfit was handed down
through a number of RAEME rotations
based in Tarin Kot," he said.
"The sheriff collects fines within
the workshop from members who have
done something silly or funny in the
past week and we donate the money to
charities like Legacy."
The main event of the day was the
RAEME personnel had taken the
time to craft a metal spanner and paint it
in the corps' colours.
Cfn Dominic Foley, a fitter armourer
with FSU 7, won the competition.
"I'd attribute my win to my testoster-
one overflow caused by the moustache I
grew for Movember," he said.
"The spanner weighed 25kg, it
wasn't crazy heavy but it was awkward
SOTG RAEME personnel brought to
the event a specially sculptured statue
from their barracks to assist with the
It was built in the likeness of the
RAEME Corps badge by RAEME per-
sonnel who deployed with the Special
Operations Task Group to Tarin Kot on
Rotation 17 in the first half of 2012.
Deployed RAEME troops see in corps birthday
THE BIG BADGE
Big spanner: Cfn Dominic Foley hefts the 25kg spa
on the spanner-throwing
competition during RAEME Corps birthday celebrations in Tarin Kot.
Photos by WO2 Andrew Hetherington
Lt-Col Phil Pyke
PLAQUES commemorating six
Australian soldiers killed in action in
Afghanistan in 2012 were dedicated in
a ceremony held at the Al Minhad Air
Base in the United Arab Emirates in late
Attended by ADF members at the
base, the short ceremony dedicated the
bronze plaques to Spr James Martin,
LCpl Stjepan Milosevic, Pte Robert
Poate, Pte Nathanael Galagher, LCpl
Mervyn McDonald and Cpl Scott Smith.
The black granite memorial com-
memorates those who have died in the
Middle East Area of Operations since
In his address, Deputy Commander
JTF 633 Cdre Martin Brooker said the
plaques served as a permanent reminder
of the six who lost their lives while
contributing to the same cause that each
member of the task force was there to
"Our challenge is to honour their sac-
rifice by remaining focused on the mis-
sion and watching over each other," Cdre
"Particularly at this time of
Christmas, we are reminded that for the
families of these men it will be a most
difficult time without their loved ones."
After the blessing by Chap Peter
Hayes, the Ode was read before members
returned to duty.
Thirty-nine Australians have been
killed in Afghanistan since the beginning
of operations in 2002. The memorial at
HQ JTF 633 also contains the names of
two Australians killed during Operation
Catalyst in Iraq.
Names added to
Remembrance: Deputy Chief JTF 633 Cdre Martin Brooker speaks at the
plaque dedication ceremony for the six Australians killed in Afghanistan
between August and October last year at the Stone of Remembrance at Al
Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. Photo by Sqn-Ldr Mark Wetherspoon
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