Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 1 2009 Contents www.defence.gov.au/defencemagazine
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ABoVe: Andrew flahive, Peita spence
and sheralee Ide get to understand
the term 'digging in' during the Army
ABoVe: colin Walmsley and Jolanta skawinski
enjoy a chat with a visiting us soldier as a part
of their tour of the school of Armour.
military facilities, and climaxes with two nights ‘in
the field’, being woken by gunfire and having mock
battles, and concludes with the gruelling Basic
Fitness Assessment, and a formal dining-in night.
As we gathered at Melbourne Airport, getting
to know each other and speculating on what lay
ahead, the excitement was mixed with trepidation.
Aside from morning PT, the first half of
the course was predominantly based in the
classroom, with participants learning about the
Army’s functional lines of command, procurement
processes, and the issues and concerns facing
soldiers both at home and on deployment.
These lessons were all beneficial, however the
opportunity to socialise with the soldiers in their
mess and in the lines was invaluable in breaking
down barriers between the APS and ADF, and
gaining a better understanding of the role and
concerns of all ranks.
By the second week, we left the classroom,
and thanks to our ever-suffering directing staff,
were considered proficient to handle an unloaded
Steyr without hurting anyone.
After visiting the schools of Armour and
Artillery, and having spent a relaxing Sunday
touring the Goulburn Valley wineries, we were
issued with our blanks, given the requisite safety
briefings, and pack-marched to Grenade Range
Two which was to be home for the next two nights.
This was where real Army life began, as we
started digging...and digging...and digging,
to make sure that our fighting pits could stand up
to whatever the ‘enemy’ could throw at us.
The time in the field gave us a chance to
glimpse the practicalities of Army life – daily
routine, digging pits, performing piquets, and living
on ration packs.
A visit from the Chief of Army, LTGEN Ken
Gillespie was a feature of the course. His visit
gave us a greater understanding of the challenges
currently facing the Army provided the opportunity
to ask questions relating to our own roles in
supporting the Army. Other high points were
using the Weapons Training Simulation System,
performing a fighting withdrawal at 5am, and
a live shoot on the Marksmanship Training Range.
Having spent most of our nights in the
Sergeants’ Mess, the last night of the course
was an opportunity to attend a formal dining-
in night with the officers. Silver service and a
Kangaroo Court were the order of the night, and
a good time was had by all. The last morning of
the course was a highlight, as we saw (and felt)
the full effects of several 105mm howitzers in an
indirect firing display.
As we boarded the bus back to Melbourne,
reflecting on our two weeks, and with an enhanced
respect for the Army from all participants, there were
mixed emotions, a lot of new friendships, and a great
sense of camaraderie among the group. We all had
different, yet extremely valuable experiences. The
course was definitely a career highlight and well
managed and coordinated by all directing staff. I
would recommend it to anybody seeking to have a
greater understanding of the Army’s role.
getting familiar with Army
The 2008 Defence Civilian Army
Familiarisation Course (DCAFC) was held
at the Combined Arms Training Centre,
Puckapunyal from 10-21 Nov. The course
comprised Defence civilians ranging
from APS-5 to EL-2, which included
representation from most groups. The
DCAFC gives selected APS personnel
the unique opportunity to increase their
understanding of the culture, ethos and
modus operandi of the Army.
The course was run over a 12-day
period, giving participants exposure to
military facilities and equipment as well as
participating in field activities. The DCAFC
also provides participants with a theoretical
component, providing information about
Army doctrine, strategic planning and internal
business management processes.
The hands-on program allows course
members to experience the daily routine
and challenges faced by our soldiers. It also
offers the opportunity to acquire a new
understanding and appreciation of the Army as
well as providing a positive professional and
The next DCAFC will be conducted in
late 2009. Nominations will be called for
through the release of a DEFGRAM which is
expected to be published in Jul/Aug 09.
Further information is available from
Ms Amy Taylor on (02) 6265 7131 or through
the Directorate of Civilian Personnel
Management Army Website: http://intranet.
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