Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 7 2010 Contents 8 www.defence.gov.au/defencemagazine
SNAPSHOT - rEGIONAl FOCuS
ambler overcomes his
achilles heel at squash
Pulses raced as 37 of Defence’s best squash
players did battle on the courts at the week-long
annual national squash tournament in early
Competitors from APS, Navy, Army and Air
Force participated in the 2010 Defence Squash
National Tournament from August 1 at RAAF Base
APS competitor Craig Ambler said that while the
atmosphere was friendly off-court, on the courts
the rivalry was vicious and it was ‘game-on’.
“I first started playing Defence squash in the early
80s and was immediately drawn to the competitive
camaraderie on and off the squash courts,” Mr
“Attending this year was a little different for me
because two years ago, I suffered a serious rupture
of my Achilles tendon.
“At the time, my surgeon said I would be lucky to
walk without a limp for the rest of my life and the
likelihood of playing squash again was very low.
“But, I launched myself into training with the long-
term goal of winning the open title at these titles.”
Early in the tournament, the most points scored in
20 minutes determined the winner.
However, during the final matches, the traditional
scoring system of the first player to 15 was used.
Navy had the most competitors, followed by Air
Force, Army and APS.
Craig said that this year he faced his adversary of
15 years, Sgt Daryl Ferguson, and failure was not
“I met my old foe in the final of the open event, so I
played like a man possessed,” he said.
“Losing wasn’t an option – I wanted the open title
and selection for the UK Defence squash tour.
“After a serious comeback attempt by Sgt
Ferguson, I hung on to win, 3-1.
“Sgt Ferguson was gracious in defeat and we
laughed about our little battle.
“I took great pride in sending a photo of my win to
Craig also won the Mixed Masters category and
was selected to represent Defence in the UK
Defence squash tour, held in September.
- By Able Seaman Melanie Schinkel
into regional tour
The Australian Army Band Darwin (AAB-D) has
conducted a regional tour during October as part
of its operational role to raise the public profile of
the Army and enhance the morale of Australian
Defence Force members and their families in
Performances included the opening ceremony
of the biennial Alice Springs Masters Games, a
visit to Santa Teresa in support of NORFORCE
work in that community, a concert at RAAF Base
Tindal for serving members and their families,
including Defence Indigenous Development
Program trainees, and a ball in Kununurra to assist
fundraising for the local hospital.
Officer Commanding AAB-D, Captain Matt
Chilmaid, said it was a wonderful opportunity to
showcase the talents of Reservists on a larger
stage, as well as providing invaluable training
for their operational deployment role as Army
“It is also fantastic that we can use these
performances in a positive way to assist other ADF
units in their roles and help the civil community in
a very practical way by raising much needed funds
for local charities.”
Hamel time for army
The wider Townsville region has hosted more than
6000 soldiers, sailors and airmen and airwomen
during Exercise Hamel – the most complex training
activity ever undertaken by the Australian Army.
While most of the troop activity took place in
the Townsville Field Training Area to the west of
Townsville, the Royal Australian Navy conducted
beach landings at Cowley Beach while the Royal
Australian Air Force aircraft and personnel
conducted operations from RAAF Base Townsville.
The exercise’s director, Brigadier John Frewen, said
priorities had been placed on ensuring both the
local community and the environment were well
“Throughout the course of the exercise a
large number of troops moved through North
Queensland,” he said.
“Through community consultation and liaison with
various local government organisations we worked
to minimise any disruption, as well as making
sure that our land use plan offered us sustainable
choices to take the best possible care of the
Virtual exercise flags
One of the world’s largest co-ordinated virtual
military exercises between Australian, American,
British and Canadian defence forces has been
conducted by the Defence Science and Technology
Organisation (DSTO) in Melbourne.
Exercise Coalition Virtual Flag began on 20
September, with the four-day simulation activity
LefT: Mr Stephen Hamilton, State manager of the
Defence Force Credit Union (left), and Australian Defence
Squash President, Lieutenant Commander Nicholas Barker
(right) present the award for open men’s winner to Mr
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