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SPIT POLISHED PRESENTATIONS
July 8, 2010
IN A win-win situation for stakeholders, a 890m footpath
has been built from RAAF Base Darwin's 'Tin City' to the
Sergeants' Mess by 1 Airfield Operations Support Squad-
The need for the path was identified more than
three years ago, however the project stalled due to
insufficient funding to complete all the identified pro-
ject works, until 396 Expeditionary Combat Support
Wing (396ECSW) coordinated a Defence Support
Group (DSG) and 1AOSS Airfield Engineering
WOFF Brian Hughes from HQ 396ECSW said the
project was founded as the result of ongoing pedestrian
safety issues at Darwin that mainly arise during exer-
cise periods when Tin City is heavily populated.
He said before the new solar-lit pathway, the route
contained numerous trip hazards and 321 Expeditionary
Combat Support Squadron (321ECSS) had to hire gener-
ated light sets during exercise periods, resulting in the
risk of injuries and a significant cost burden to exercises
"As a result of issues arising from Exercise
Talisman Saber 09, DSG and CO 321ECSS consult-
ed with HQ 396ECSW for a solution, which led to
1AOSS being approached to provide the labour to
FLTLT Skye Smith
LACW Emma-Lee Weston couldn't
wait to start her adventure on the
Young Endeavour when she was se-
lected for the Air Combat Group
(ACG) Scholarship on board the tall
An excited LACW Weston board-
ed the Young Endeavour at Newcastle
on June 4 before setting sail on a
10-day voyage to Brisbane.
Heavy rain and gale winds did not
discourage LACW Weston from her
"To be honest, as much informa-
tion and as many stories that I heard
doesn't prepare you for the most
amazing experience," LACW Weston
"My favourite highlights of the
trip would have to be stepping on to
land in Trial Bay for the first time in
three days after all the sickness and
Young Endeavour provides an adventure
a new path
construct the footpaths and install solar bollard lighting
along the route," WOFF Hughes said.
HQ 396ECSW AFENG1 was tasked to coordi-
nate the project, and after liaising with 1AOSS,
DSG and HQ Combat Support Group (AFENG), a
tasking order was raised in February for 1AOSS to
complete the works.
WOFF Hughes said a team of eight members from
Townsville and Richmond started work with their plant
and equipment in mid-May which they completed on
schedule on June 18.
He said the collaboration between the Defence
stakeholders breathed new life into a project that had
stalled because of funding issues relating to initial
cost estimates and also highlights to Senior ADF
Officers and other DSG regions that this may be an
option for smaller projects at their respective bases
in the future.
"As a result of the collaboration, RAAF Base
Darwin has gained a safe pedestrian route from Tin
City to the Gym, Frontline, Cinema, and Airman's and
Sergeants' Messes that minimises the risk of injury to
pedestrians walking on poorly lit 'on-base' streets,"
WOFF Hughes said.
"Additionally, DSG has achieved partial comple-
tion of a larger project with significant financial effi-
ciencies as a result of Air Force trades supplying the
labour and no contractor mark up on the materials used.
"Further, AFENG trade members have gained and
maintained valuable core trade skills in accordance
with their training and competency log books."
WOFF Bob Gourley, who led the team that com-
pleted the path, said the project represented a win for
He said although the work was conducted dur-
ing the hottest May in Darwin in 40 years, the team
stayed dedicated and celebrated their feat by leav-
ing their mark in cement on the last panel near the
The path includes about 178 cubic metres of con-
crete and 141 solar lights to improve visibility and
reduce the risk of injury to pedestrians.
'spending our last moments together
up the mast as we sailed along the
The crew took off to Queensland
and anchored in Cape Moreton for
a day before taking the lead for
Command Day, in which the youth
crew run the 44m, square-rigged tall
ship for 24 hours.
Command Day involved the
youth crew, aged between 16 and
23, working together to navigate to
Tangalooma at Moreton Island and
anchor there overnight.
LACW Weston took on the chal-
lenge of Head Chef on Command
Day and had to cook for more than
30 people on board over a 24-hour
period. "It was pretty hard, but the
experience was fantastic," she said.
LACW Weston also enjoyed the
team challenges on board. "We all
came together as a team so well and
managed to get the tasks completed
with a good laugh. I found I learnt a
lot about leadership."
The 22-strong youth crew and 11
Navy staff members were joined by
two other Navy members undertaking
their suitability to become a 'staffy'.
The youth crew worked in four-hour
watches while they sailed and up to two
hours when anchored, taking the work-
ing day well into the night.
Young Endeavour CO LCDR
Gavin Dawes also gave the youth crew
sail theory and navigation lessons.
LACW Weston enjoyed the feeling
of being in the middle of the ocean
with no land in sight.
"It was great. I love the water and
having dolphins and whales swimming
alongside the ship."
The Young Endeavour experience
has provided LACW Weston with the
confidence to take on more leader-
ship roles in her job as a clerk in the
HQACG Orderly Room.
LACW Weston has been sailing
before, but this was the first time she
had actually sailed a ship.
"It was a great first time experience
to be at the helm with such experi-
enced sailors from the Navy," she said.
Arriving in Brisbane to a reception
of friends and family was "fantastic"
after 10 days at sea.
"I was very lucky to have family
waiting for me in Brisbane as it's my
LACW Weston is looking forward
to putting her new sailing skills to the
test. "But maybe I'll go in summer
ACG sponsors two outstanding
members each year to undertake the
team and leadership challenges on
board the Young Endeavour.
HIGH THERE: LACW
Emma-Lee Weston, front,
hangs out with some new
-- LACW Emma-Lee
from RAAF Base
Townsville, LAC Nick
Voigt, levels the newly
poured concrete as
other members in
the background work
solidly as a team.
Photo: LAC David Cotton
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