Home' Army News : November 21st 2013 Contents Army November 21, 2013
Walking to recovery
Cpl Aaron Curran
FOR people who have had injuries or
serious illness, usually the fastest and
safest way to recover is rest and rehabili-
Sgt Jason Larkin, a Forward Arming
and Refuelling Point supervisor with 6
Avn Regt at Holsworthy Barracks, decid-
ed to challenge himself during his recov-
ery from illness not by rest but by trek-
king over 10 of Australia's highest peaks.
Sgt Larkin took part in the
Mates4Mates Adventure Challenge in
which 10 participants, including seven
Defence personnel, trekked 37km through
the Snowy Mountains for two days.
An initiative of the RSL-Queensland,
Mates4Mates challenges are designed to
provide a realistic challenge to all partici-
pants and to stretch them both physically
They also help raise the public's
awareness of the physical and psycholog-
ical battles faced by personnel and veter-
ans and gain their support in the process.
Sgt Larkin said he was approached
by his chain of command about the
"They knew about my psychological
illness and were very supportive of my
attendance," he said.
"I then spent a couple of weeks train-
ing by walking long distances with a
"Nothing prepared me for the bare-
foot walk through the Snowy River but
it's all part of the initiation to snow trek-
The participants gathered at
Jindabyne on October 6 then started the
trek the next morning. During the 20km
hike, they crossed high alpine rivers and
completed some steep hill climbs.
Owing to time constraints the par-
ticipants were only able to complete two
peaks on the first day. On the second
day, they climbed four peaks, including
Mt Kosciusko, and trekked 17km before
making their way back to the ski lifts at
"It was physically demanding," Sgt
"But through mateship and having the
common goal of completing the trek, we
all came through quite well. Glenn and
Wendy, from Mates4Mates, supported us
every step of the way.
"The highlight for me was being
able to share my experiences with
other people in an environment free
of any stigmas or judgement. I would
recommend Mates4Mates to any soldier
who is seeking recovery."
Adventure challenge: Soldiers hike Australia's highest 10 peaks in a
Mates4Mates challenge to help them on their road to recovery.
LS Helen Frank
DOGS are often called man's best friend
but the well-trained military working
dogs aren't always the sort to welcome a
Three handlers and their dogs from 1 MP
Bn deployed from November 7-21 to Ingham
in Queensland where they supported RMC-
D's battle block exercise.
The exercise mission was to stabilise the
area where militia had been creating unrest in
Dog liaison officer Sgt Dean Jennings
said his team and the three Belgium Malinois
"The dogs acted as a security element,
mostly by creating a visual deterrent," he said.
"The dogs can also be used to provide a
non-lethal force, possibly avoiding the need
to use a weapon."
The dog handlers often deploy in support
of exercises and are assigned to fly away
teams appointed to different brigades.
The training flowed both ways as the two
corporal MPs were new to the dog handler
"It was a great way for them to hone their
skills and those of their dogs," Sgt Jennings
"Two of the dogs were new to the platoon
so it helped with the certification of the dogs
and gave the handlers time to bond with their
animals as well."
Sgt Jennings said the exercise was a busy
one and his team didn't have much time for
"We had to hit the ground running
and two of the handlers were out on patrol
with different teams the morning after
GIVING THE TROOPS STRENGTH
LS Helen Frank
FIVE chefs from three states came
together to provide meals to staff
cadets and their instructors on
RMC-D's final battle block.
Chef WO2 Jason Tyler, of
11CSSB, said he had supported
RMC-D on exercise for the past
"It made it easy to go away to
do the job again as most of the staff
know me well," he said.
WO2 Tyler said four of his five-
person team, including himself,
"The ARA found it difficult to
supply enough chefs so our team
was made up of mostly reserv-
ists with one ARA member from
3CSSB," he said.
The team cooked daily meals for
130 people including 100 hot boxes.
A break from ration packs meant
fresh rations for 60 people were
made every three days and the four
platoons of cadets were rotated
through the fresh-meal cycle.
"With just five chefs we could
only feed two platoons at a time,"
WO2 Tyler said.
Pte Iresha Marshall, of 44 Tpt
Wg in Devonport, Tasmania, has
been a reservist for seven years
and has been deployed four times
"I spent 10 weeks in
Rockhampton for Talisman Saber,
then a week away with the Army
cadets in Tasmania," she said.
"After that I spent 16 days at
Murray Bridge in South Australia
with 15 Tpt Wg and now the two
weeks in Ingham with RMC-D.
"It's been really good; I enjoy
meeting new people."
Pte Marshall has cooked for
1500 people before, so the 130
she had to contend with at Ingham
seemed small in comparison.
"It was a great experience; we
had a team of cool people so it was
really enjoyable," she said.
Calling in the dogs
Exercise in safety: Sgt Dean Jennings and his working dog Uri,
of 1 MP Bn, help protect SCdts Nathan Dubbeld and Ben Hoiles
(inset) on exercise.
Photos by LS Helen Frank
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