Commander on the tools

The workshops of Force Support Element – Rotation 13 (FSE-13) in the Middle East region gained an eager new recruit on February 12.

CAPTION: Lance Corporal Cameron Pennell, left, and Rear Admiral Michael Rothwell begin removing the engine from a protected mobility vehicle in the Middle East region. Photo by Sergeant Ben Dempster.

Commander Joint Task Force 633 Rear Admiral Michael Rothwell spent the afternoon gaining an understanding of the down and dirty of keeping everything functioning properly, from protected mobility vehicles to medical equipment.

Officer Commanding FSE-13 Major Peter McAuley said he was more than happy to take on the new recruit, who was eager to get onto the tools.

“The workshops are pretty busy at the best of times, so to have an extra, and willing, set of hands available, particularly those of Rear Admiral Rothwell, was very welcome,” Major McAuley said.

Joining the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers at Camp Baird and wearing a specially prepared protective dress uniform, Rear Admiral Rothwell was thrown into the deep end, undertaking a Bushmaster engine replacement.

Like a good apprentice, the commander took advice and guidance from the qualified mechanics to prepare for and subsequently remove the entire power pack.

Beyond the work experience, it was the first time Rear Admiral Rothwell had seen the process of engine removal of the vehicle type, leaving him impressed with its functionality and design.

While the chance to turn spanners was all good fun, on-the-job experience provided an opportunity for the commander to understand the different roles within Joint Task Force 633.

“Command is strongly enhanced by personal presence and not just working in a headquarters all the time, although of course the latter remains important to the function of a geographically displaced Joint Task Force,” Rear Admiral Rothwell said.

“I very much enjoyed mixing with our troops and understanding their day-to-day functions. I hope they enjoyed the opportunity to interact with me too.

“By engaging in activities like those in the workshop, I form a clear understanding of what our fine and talented people do, in this instance, a Bushmaster engine change. The uniform was pretty special too.”

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