Army delivered grunt to Grand Prix weekend

An impressive display of Army equipment proved popular with crowds at the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Albert Park, Melbourne.

CAPTION: Warrant Officer Class Two Luke Parlor, a mechanic from Defence Force School of Signals conducts maintenance on a V8 Supercar at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne. Story by Flight Lieutenant Marina Power. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Taylor Anderson.

Army displays and interactive activities included team Army’s ‘Matilda’ Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon burnout car Project Digger, as well as a big-block 1978 Ford LTD with 938hp engine and a Rover 6×6 supercharged truck, lovingly known as ‘Armygeddon’.

Army support for the event from March 30 to April 2 included hands-on help in the Supercars garages and pits, with Army mechanics from Defence Force School of Signals and Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group assisting Matt Stone Racing.

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CAPTION: Warrant Officer Class 2 Jamie Smith, a mechanic from Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group assists the Matt Stone Racing team at the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Taylor Anderson.

Additional displays from the School of Armour, School of Artillery and the 4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse Regiment included an Australian light armoured vehicle and a Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle (PMV), which children among the 440,000 spectators especially enjoyed exploring.

Warrant Officer Class 1 Hemi Anning, of Headquarters 4 Brigade, said the PMV display was a big-ticket item.

“There was a steady line of people all weekend wanting to have a peek inside. The kids especially love it and it creates such a great memorable photo opportunity for them,” Warrant Officer Class 1 Anning said.

“We had a mix of full-time and Reserve personnel at the event, and the community engagement is very important as it rolls into recruitment.

“With us being Reserve soldiers, we are very good at engaging with the community because we are from the community and we are able to connect with people and tell them about what we do, which is incredibly satisfying.

Sapper Alex Brown, Captain of the Army Drone Racing Team, said the event was also a great success with their display.

“We had lots of kids and whole school groups come through showing a real interest in drone technology,” Sapper Brown said.

“We are set up as a STEM engagement display, which gives kids a good introduction and understanding of drones; not only flying, but skills in building drones, soldering and coding.”

The Grand Prix is just one event in a program of high-profile public events that are supported by the Army throughout the year across the country.


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