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May 23, 2013 www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS
LEUT Andrew Ragless
Commando crawls under
10,000 volt electrical wire, tyre
carries, cargo net climbs and
sprints through flaming haystacks
have proven that navy, army
and air Force personnel of Joint
Headquarters northern Command
are “Territory Tough”.
The inaugural Blood Sweat and
Fears half marathon fitness chal-
lenge took place on may 4 at Lake
Bennett and surrounding bush, an
hour’s drive from darwin.
The course featured 20 obsta-
cles, each more gruelling than the
last, designed to break up a cruel
21km cross-country run.
The 14-strong team from
northern Command (norcom)
included an even mix of men and
women from able seaman to Chief
of Staff GPCaPT Bill Kourelakos.
LSCIS michelle Lakin said the
event strengthened the team ethos
“We had a buddy-up system,
which changed a lot during the
21km, but we never ran alone,” she
“It was a great feeling to arrive
at the next obstacle with your team
mates, to motivate and encourage
you and egg you on.
“one of the last obstacles was
called ‘roach or run’ and we were
given the choice of eating a cock-
roach or running an extra 750
metres down and up a steep crevice.
“I chose to eat the cockroach
and I squished it first and a maggot
came out. Then I just swallowed it
whole – it was disgusting!”
The first norcom competitors
crossed the line in just over 3 hours
and 20 minutes.
GPCaPT Kourelakos said
norcom staff were a tight knit
group and the event highlighted
their diversity and professionalism.
“I think we’re used to working
hard and pulling our own weight,
but this event really highlighted the
uniqueness of norcom as a small
joint military headquarters with a
big responsibility” he said.
“Supporting each other is the
only way we get the job done.”
It’s tough in
TEAMWORK: CAPT Nick Kelly, ABCIS Katherine Creighton, SQNLDR Peter Janssen and LSCIS
Michelle Lakin commando crawl under 10,000 volt electrical wire nearing the end of the Blood, Sweat
and Fears half marathon fitness challenge.
LEUT Samantha Dudley
THe naval College Class of 1953-55
took a journey down memory lane at
its 60th anniversary reunion at HmaS
Stirling on may 15.
Travelling from all around australia,
the 40 visitors relished the opportunity
to spend a day back on board a navy
escorted through the Submarine
Training Systems Centre, they met
and spoke with Training authority
Submarines CmdR matthew Hoffman
about today’s navy and submarine capa-
navy domestic engagement
Regional Coordinator and escort for the
day, CPomL-S Toni Ralph, said it was a
delight to accompany the visitors around
“It’s not every day you get an oppor-
tunity to meet CdRe Peter dechaineux
(retd), the son of CaPT emile
dechaineux,” CPo Ralph said.
“I enjoyed the opportunity to listen
to their stories of times gone by, the con-
tributions they made to the navy and
Stirling while they were serving.”
Highlights of the reunion included a
short visit to the Fleet Base West naval
museum, where the old became the
familiar, and to the Submarine escape
Training Facility where they were able to
conduct a walk through the escape tower.
a visit to the Torpedo maintenance
Facility and the Ran School of
Survivability and Ship Safety ensured
the visitors were brought up to date on a
variety of navy aspects.
Serving officers and senior sail-
ors joined the visitors in the Sir James
Stirling mess for lunch, where stories of
camaraderie were shared.
CmdR Les Renfrey (retd) said it was
the sense of nostalgia and the memories
of mateship that he enjoyed most from
CdRe dechaineux recalled his time
in the navy and as Co HmaS Creswell.
“Re-establishing the connection with
the Collins-class submarines and meet-
ing current serving members of the Ran
have been the highlight of the day,” he
shared at Stirling
BACK TOGETHER: The Naval College Class of 1953-55 stop for a photo
during a reunion tour of HMAS Stirling.
Photo: LSIS Nina Fogliani
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