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AIR FORCE December 10, 2009
WHEN Geoff Nutt was teaching
in a hangar at RAAF Base Wagga and
noticed a PC-9 sitting on the tarmac
nearby, he realised it was a photo op-
portunity too good to miss.
He called three fellow 1970s car
enthusiasts and they readily agreed to
bring their cars along.
"I then gained permission from the
Air Base Command Post and it all just
fell into place," he said.
Next thing he knew there were
four gleaming muscle cars -- Brendan
McCallum's '74 HQ Holden Monaro,
Geoff's '76 VK Valiant Charger, CPL
Matt Neal's '74 XB Ford Hardtop and
CPL Michael Rose's '79 Chev Camaro
-- on show with the gleaming aircraft.
Geoff is a former WOFF who now
works for the National Aerospace
Training Centre of Excellence, the
contractor that delivers technical train-
ing to ADF trainees at Wagga.
"The PC-9 furnished by Central
Flying School may be in a different
class to muscle cars but it does sport
twin exhausts, full instrumentation
and, at times, an attitude to make peo-
ple stand up and take notice," Geoff
said.We'll let Geoff explain the rest of
this story in the coded language only
car enthusiasts could possibly under-
"Brendan works in security at
the base, and his Monaro is fitted
with a 350 ci mill feeding a four-
speed Muncie. He gave his pride a
full makeover just 12 months ago
including custom upholstery and
bare-metal respray. My Charger runs a
340 small block fed by a 750 Edelbrock
"The car was rebuilt from the ground
up eight years ago, and is about to be
upgraded with a four-speed, salvaged
from a '71 Cuda.
"Matt was visiting Wagga from
381 Expeditionary Combat Support
Squadron for a course and drove his
Hardtop down just for fun. Ninety dol-
lars got him from Willytown to Wagga
(not including tolls, coffee or Big
"The car's restoration is a work in
progress following a repaint 15 years
ago, and the noise comes from a warm
351 topped with a 600 Holley square
bore; apparently the original 250 didn't
have enough poke.
"Michael (from 382 Expeditionary
Combat Support Squadron) was on the
same course as Matt and cruised down
from Amberley in his Camaro.
"It is the sought-after Z28 and this
piece of Detroit iron runs a 350 but,
unlike the other three, has LPG fitted.
It makes for cheaper cruising but he
only has room for a road map and flat-
tened stubby cooler in the boot.
"ABS, airbags, sat nav and crumple
zones may not have been offered on
these cars, and the engine management
computer might be the local mechanic,
but Brendan, Matt, Michael and I all
agree when you're driving by the seat
of your pants the world just seems a
Car lingo translation: Muncie = gear
box, double-pumper = carburettor and
square bore = injector plates.
MEN AND THEIR MACHINES: Brendan McCallum with his red Monaro, Geoff Nutt with his red Charger, CPL Matt Neal with his green Hardtop and
CPL Michael Rose with his black Camaro pose with the PC-9.
Photo: FSGT Andy Gray
on the rise
Big money raised for McGrath Foundation
THE new-look Air Force team
served notice at the International
Defence Cricket Challenge that it
will be a power to be reckoned with
Coach SGT Sean Croker said he
was proud of the team's progress.
"We got a lot out of the tourna-
ment," he said. "Hopefully, we can
come back next year and be a bit
more competitive and take out the
That honour this year went to
Air Force, which beat Australian
Army in the final at Manuka Oval in
Canberra on November 26.
It was the culmination of two
weeks of cricket against seven other
teams representing various defence
arms from Australia, New Zealand
The tournament had both
Twenty20 and 50-over a side games,
with the leading four point-scorers
progressing to the semi-finals.
Air Force won three of its six
pool games but just missed out on
going further. Instead, it played off
for fifth and sixth place in the GEN
Peter Cosgrove Plate final against
New Zealand Army.
The game went down to the wire,
with New Zealand Army overhaul-
ing Air Force with just an over left
SGT Croker, who was a long-time
player with Air Force before taking the
coaching reins five years ago, said the
team had become very professional,
providing opportunities for new crick-
eters coming through the ranks.
This year was a case in point.
There were nine new players in
a squad of 17 at the tournament,
including a new captain, CPL
Aaron Noffke -- cousin of former
Australia, Queensland and now West
Australian cricketer Adam Noffke.
CPL Noffke snared 6/22 off four
overs with his medium pacers in just
the second game and took the award
as a pick of Air Force's bowlers.
The only player SGT Croker is
expecting to retire this year is stal-
wart SGT Mitch Dockett -- so look
For full details of the tournament,
AIR FORCE HONOUR ROLL
IN THE TEAM:
van Der Aa
puts his back
into a delivery
to a Navy
the first day of
segment of the
Photo: LAC Aaron
AIR FORCE OVERALL AWARD: LAC Adam Bosworth. Highest score: 59 (against
New Zealand Army. Best wicket haul: 2/12 (from three overs) against Australian
Army T20. Games played: 7.
AIR FORCE BATTING AWARD: SGT Shawn Binnion. Highest score: 62 (against
Royal New Zealand Navy). Average for the tournament 44.2. Games played: 7. SGT
Binnion was also selected in the International Defence XI.
AIR FORCE BOWLING AWARD: LAC Michael Douglas. Best haul: 6/22 (from six
overs against Royal Malaysian Air Force 50/50). Games played 6.
Air Force won three of its six pool games, narrowly missing the semi-finals and losing
the GEN Peter Cosgrove Plate Final against New Zealand Army in a game that went
down almost to the last over -- to finish sixth in the eight-team competition.
A FRAMED piece of memo-
rabilia signed by cricket legend
Sir Donald Bradman helped the
IDCC raise $18,632.30 for the
The Bradman piece, featuring
photos of him in action and some
of his key stats, fetched $4200
and was one of about 50 items,
including 30 pink stumps used in
the games, that was auctioned off
over the tournament.
The Air Force team was the
driving force behind the initiative
to raise money for the McGrath
Foundation, which raises money
to fund breast-care nurses,
primarily in rural Australia. The
foundation was started by former
Australian player Glenn McGrath
and his wife Jane after she was
diagnosed with cancer in 2002.
She died last year.
Air Force raised $5592.55
for the cause last year and this
year the organisers adopted the
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