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March 29, 2012
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SGT Dave Morley
FIVE military skills instructors from
1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU)
went beyond the call for an elderly
couple during the recent flood evac-
uations in Wagga.
SGTs Shane Bush and Pat
Maron and CPLs Lachlan Pegg,
Erwin Lyon and Leigh Maybury --
all airfield defence guards -- were
involved in door-knocking to advise
North Wagga residents of an evacua-
They were part of the 200-plus
ADF contingent involved in the
flood relief efforts, following the
activation of an ADF Emergency
Operations Centre at RAAF Base
Wagga on March 7.
SGT Bush said they were just
finishing their door-knocking task
when an elderly couple came over to
them quite upset.
"They were pretty disturbed
about the whole situation and asked
us for a bit of help as they'd made
no plans to move any of their gear
out," he said.
"The old guy had actually lost
his brother that week and was just
back from the funeral.
"So we went around to their
house and just made a decision to
pack up what we could for them."
A local civilian offered up his
truck to help with the move.
SGT Maron said the move went
from being the washing machine
and dryer, a few electrical items and
the gentleman's TV, "which he was
pretty fond of", to everything in the
"They didn't want to put anyone
out, and she kept breaking out in
tears, until a friend came round and
told her, 'these guys are here to help
you'," SGT Maron said.
"So we just kept going from
room to room and we basically
moved everything in the house
except a few bed frames.
"I don't think they realised how
big the flood was going to be -- they
just thought they might get some
water in the house because of the
CPL Pegg said they moved the
couple's effects to a friend's house
in the Wagga CBD.
"We took one truckload there
and came back for the rest," CPL
SGT Bush said the biggest con-
cern was if the main levee bank gave
way the CBD would be flooded.
"Then they'd have lost every-
thing," SGT Bush said.
SGT Maron said they made the
decision to go ahead with the move,
rather than wait to be officially
"But this was an off-the-cuff
thing where we said, 'we're here
now, let's just load this furniture
onto the truck and get it done'," he
said.CPL Lyon said he thought it was
very important for the ADF, espe-
cially the Air Force, and the airfield
defence guard mustering in particu-
lar, to get involved in helping with
natural disaster relief.
"The people of North Wagga
appreciated our help and us tak-
ing the time and opportunity to go
over there and mix with them," CPL
"It was a great day for our unit,
and I was very glad to help out."
ADF flood relief
efforts in NSW
and Victoria were
wrapped up on
March 16. More
than 200 members
who assisted in the
Wagga region came
from RAAF Base
Wagga, the Kapooka
Military Area and
Army's 5 Brigade,
while up to 60
members of Army's
4 Brigade helped
Victoria. Chief of
LTGEN Ash Power
along with many
in the affected
assist in the flood
G-Wagons to roll out
THE ADF will receive new vehicles
from July when the roll out of 2146
new G-Wagons and 1799 trailers
commences. The vehicles are part of
Project Overlander, a $7.5 billion pro-
gram to provide more than 7500 new
protected and unprotected vehicles
to the ADF over the next decade. The
G-Wagons are being manufactured
by Daimler AG. They will then be
supplied to Mercedes-Benz Australia/
Pacific Pty Ltd to fit Australian-made
modules and tray bodies.
Boost for Bushmasters
More than $15.5 million will be spent
to manufacture components of the
next order of Bushmaster vehicles
from Thales Australia's Bendigo fac-
tory. Defence Minister Stephen Smith
and Defence Materiel Minister Jason
Clare made the announcement on
March 19. In December last year, the
Government announced that it would
explore the purchase of additional
Bushmaster vehicles to bolster its
earlier purchase of 101 vehicles.
Ex Faru Sumu takes off
FOR the first time, Super Hornet
crews from 6SQN are training with
Joint Terminal Attack Controllers
from 4SQN in Exercise Faru Sumu in
the Northern Territory. The exercise,
conducted out of RAAF Bases Darwin
and Tindal and the Delamere Air
Weapons Range, began on March 11
and was scheduled to end on March
29. Full coverage in the next edition.
737 lands at Richmond
RAAF Base Richmond had an
unexpected visitor on March 8
when a Qantas Boeing 737 bound
for Auckland landed on-base with
87 passengers on board. The jet
was diverted from Sydney Airport
because of bad weather. Air Force
personnel helped Customs and
Quarantine officials disembark and
process the passengers.
Extra mile by
It was a great
day for our
unit, and I
was very glad
to help out.
-- CPL Erwin Lyon
That's a wrap
GLAD TO HELP: Right, the five
1RTU MSIs that assisted an elderly
couple to relocate their possessions
before floodwaters swept through
North Wagga. From left, CPL Lachlan
Pegg, SGTs Shane Bush and Pat
Maron, and CPLs Erwin Lyon and
Leigh Maybury. Above, Army members
cleaning debris in North Wagga area,
and below, flooding from the air.
Photos: CPL Col Dadd and LACW Jessica Smith
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