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Army August 1, 2013
V8 drivers lap up win
over obstacle course
Learning by rope
on Ex Gemas 13
Cpl Max Bree
PROFESSIONAL V8 drivers raced
through the Lavarack Barracks obstacle
course on July 4, in the lead-up to the V8
Supercar race in Townsville.
Four drivers tore through the course,
comfortably outrunning four soldiers
Pte Tom Roderick, of 3CSSB, said he
was confident going into the race, only to
be blown away by the drivers.
“I thought we’d smash them actually,”
Pte Roderick said.
“We thought they’d be too scared to
get injured for tomorrow, but no.
“We know they’re competitive, very
fit guys. We thought we would have it,
but they’re in the race zone I guess.”
Rick Kelly, from the Jack Daniels
Racing Team, believed the soldiers’
teamwork would have paid off had the
obstacle course been longer.
“Obviously we had four drivers from
four different teams and we tried to get
through it as quickly as we could,” he
said. “The Defence guys are much better
at working as a team.
“That would have proved better over
a longer course where we would have
probably come unstuck.
“The Defence Force showed such
strict technique and experience to get
through it without incident.”
High gear: V8 Supercar driver Rick Kelly takes on Pte Tom Roderick on the
Lavarack Barrack obstacle course.
Photo by Cpl Max Bree
Capt Lily Mulholland
SAPPERS from 5CER braved
the chilling conditions of mid-
year Canberra at the Majura Field
Firing Range, working on their
core field skills during Exercise
The skills and tasks included a
number from the regiment’s mission
essential task list, which OC
3CE Sqn Maj Attila Ovari said
would further develop and reinforce
the Canberra-based squadron’s
capability in combat engineer
“Key tasks were for the squadron
to build an aerial ropeway and to
work with the plant troop to rein-
force existing infrastructure,” Maj
“This included a hesco securi-
ty wall around a forward operating
Ex Gemas 13 had a specific
focus on mobility and survivability
While their field skills took prior-
ity, the sappers found time to help
range control in improving facilities,
including a structure that functions
squadron to construct a ropeway,
which was the first of its kind for the
unit for a number of years.
“I’m proud of the team – they
worked really hard to win the mate-
rials from the pine forest, build the
spars and get the ropeway up over a
ravine that turned out to be set on a
5CER will be amalgamated with
21 Const Regt by the end of this year
as part of the organisational restruc-
ture to support Plan Beersheba.
The amalgamated unit will be
known as 5ER.
as a FOB for other training activities
on the range.
“Being in a field environment
means we can not only test our read-
iness to undertake a number of core
combat engineer tasks, but it means
that we can demonstrate our capacity
as engineers,” Maj Ovari said.
Troop Commander Lt Tristam
Conlin said the weather had been
below freezing most nights.
“Before the sun came up each
day the place was covered in a thick
coating of frost,” Lt Conlin said.
The time in the field allowed the
Field skills work results in improved facilities at Majura
The Battle of Gemas took place
during the Japanese invasion of
Malaya in the Pacific Campaign
of World War II.
On January 14, 1942, at
the Gemencheh Bridge near
Gemas, about 1000 troops of
the Japanese 5th Division were
killed or wounded in an ambush
by Australian soldiers from
2/30th Battalion, assigned to the
27th Brigade of the 8th Division.
Uplifting: A spar is erected at
one end of a ropeway on Ex
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