Home' Advance In Review : Advance in Review April 2013 Contents In this issue we focus on Air Force Band members
deployed to areas of operations. In the lead-up to
Christmas we had personnel deployed to various
locations around the globe, and our clerk returned
from a four month deployment in Timor-Leste.
Late last year SQNLDR Shelley, CPL Suter, LAC Rajch
and I deployed to Afghanistan as part of a Forces
Entertainment contingent. We were there to provide
technical support in sound and lighting for a diverse
group of entertainers, the standouts of which were the
emerging Melbourne-based band Kingswood.
After an initial period of preparation, accompanied
by some rather enjoyable R and R runs into Dubai,
we set off on a whirlwind concert tour of Tarinkot,
Kandahar, and Kabul.
The concerts were a hoot, from set up and performance,
through to pack-down. It was encouraging have all of
the concerts well attended and well received. It was
great to be able to provide our fellow servicemen and
women with some entertaining distraction from their
usual routines leading into Christmas.
Experiencing the theatre of war, albeit from behind
the wire, was both eye-opening and sobering. The
stark and desolate beauty of this mountainous
country was at times contrasted by the roar of jets
and helicopters overhead.
Along the way we met up with two
‘ loadies’(loadmasters), Deb and Harry (their real
names remain a mystery to us), who were assigned
to assist our group with – you guessed it – loading
and unloading. We shared a great camaraderie, often
working well into the early hours.
A personal highlight was meeting up with my elder
brother who was serving in-country. It was great to
catch up with him, share stories over dinner, and
learn more about what is going on outside the wire.
All in all we enjoyed a very successful and rewarding
deployment. It was great to work closely together with
my colleagues and get to know them a little better. It
was a privilege to be able to support our fellow service
men and women overseas in this small way.
LAC Jason Reeve
In late 2012 SGT Andrew Heading, CPL
Cameron Scott, LAC David Reynolds and
I departed for Timor-Leste as the tech
crew with Forces Entertainment. Our
role was to provide sound and lighting
support for the civilian bands/artists
as they performed for ADF members
currently deployed on operations in
On this particular deployment, we were
lucky to be supporting two fantastic
up-and-coming Australian bands and a
rather energetic comedian, all of whom
relished the idea of performing for ADF
members, some of which have been in-
country for up to 8 months.
There is significance to this particular
trip: with the withdrawal of Australian
Defence Force security operations in
Timor-Leste in 2012, this was to be the
last Forces Entertainment visit to the
Here’s a condensed diary of my time on
December 5 – Departed Melbourne
December 6 – Spent the day in Darwin
acclimatising to the tropical weather.
Apparently it was the hottest day on
record for that time of the year!
December 7 – Boarded our chartered
Dash 8 bright, and early bound for Timor-
Leste. We landed with little fuss, moved
through customs and then onto the usual
safety and security brief by the duty MPs.
From there we checked into our hotel,
changed into working dress and headed
to the venue to start setting up for the
night’s gig. We worked throughout the
rest of the day with the set-up, had a
short break for dinner then headed back
for the pre-show finishing touches. The
gig was incredibly well received by all
present. Some of the local Timorese
climbed up a few trees and onto the roofs
of houses to sneak a peek and a listen!
December 8 – We all had a sleep-
in after yesterday’s marathon effort.
Fortunately for us, that night’s gig was in
the same location, so it was only a relatively
short set-up for the gig that night.
Again, another roaring success for all the
artists and all were very well received. We
did a minor pack-down in preparation for
the full pack-up tomorrow, and then went
back to the accommodation for a nice cold
shower and a full night’s sleep.
December 9 – After a healthy breakfast,
the crew assembled out the front of our
accommodation and waited to be transported
to the venue to start the breakdown and
pack-up of gear – except: no transport!
After a short discussion we managed to
coerce the owner/manager of the hotel to
drive us in his car to the venue so we could
start work. So we all piled into his heavily
dented early ‘90s Toyota Corolla and made
the entertaining drive through downtown
Dili. It only bottomed out a few times!
The rest of the day was spent packing up
and preparing the gear for its return to
December 10 – Last day in-country! We
checked out of the accommodation and
travelled to the airport for our return flight
I feel honoured to be a part of the final
Forces Entertainment deployment
to Timor-Leste and I am proud to
have helped entertain ADF personnel
LAC Michael Potts
TIMOR - LESTE
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