Bosses learn the ropes on RAAF base tour

A MOB of average Joes got a taste of life as GI Joe when they took a hands-on tour of the Amberley RAAF Base last Tuesday.

The Employer Day Challenge involved about 30 civilians from Ipswich and Brisbane, who were escorted around the base for the day by a handful of RAAF and Army personnel.

They took part in shooting and physical strength training exercises and saw some of the Defence Force's impressive gadgets and machinery up close.

The Defence Reserves Support Group initiated the challenge as a way of educating employers about what life is like for people in the defence force.

Participants tried their hand at shooting on the laser-equipped, computerised, indoor practice range, before testing their ticker on the high-ropes course, which dangles ominously over the Amberley base's indoor swimming centre.

The Army mess put on a fine barbecue feast for the would-be troops before they took a tour of a massive C-17 aircraft and the base's enormous, water cannon-equipped fire trucks.

Defence Reserves Support Group manager Major Les Fagan said the challenge day was just one of the ways in which members of the community could catch a glimpse of life in the defence force.

For those who are up for something a little bit more involved, there are also two-day and week-long programs.

"The Exercise Executive Stretch is a two-day activity where the participants live the lives of the reservist," Maj Fagan said.

"We start them at 0530 hours and work them into the wee hours of the morning, with lectures demonstrations range practices, navigation exercises by day and night.

"Then we wake them during the night with a fire fight and a lot of noise then let them go back to bed, to get them up again at 0530 hours and start again.

"This allows the participants the opportunity to not only see what the reservists do, but how they do it, by experiencing it first hand.

"It gives them an idea of the knowledge, experience and strength that is required to achieve that capability."

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