8 August 2014
Private Rowan Signal outside the Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin Airmen’s Mess where he is preparing meals for the multi-national forces participating on Exercise Pitch Black 2014.
A year ago, 19-year-old Palmerston North man Private (PTE) Rowan Signal was three weeks into his initial recruit course in the heart of a cold Waiouru winter. Today he is one of eight NZ Army chefs hard at work preparing meals in a kitchen at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin, for a multi-national force exercising in the heat of an Australian Northern Territory winter.
PTE Signal, a former Palmerston North Boys’ High School pupil, is a soldier in the Linton-based 2nd Combat Service Support Battalion and is in Darwin participating in Exercise Pitch Black 2014, which is the RAAF’s largest multi-national combat air training exercise of the year.
The three-week exercise aims to foster multi-national partnerships and cooperation and has brought military forces from six nations to Australia’s Northern Territory. The exercise will involve a combination of day and night flying and provides the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) with an opportunity to practise deployment and integration of ground support personnel into coalition environments.
This is PTE Signal’s first overseas exercise with the NZDF and his first time working with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and the RAAF. He says that the opportunity to participate in Exercise Pitch Black 2014 has reinforced for him the benefits of a career in the NZ Army and the quality of the training he has received so far.
“I’d always wanted to join the Army. It’s a great place to gain a trade, develop life skills and do some travelling while getting paid. The Army has so many opportunities for people to make the most of and is an awesome option for anyone looking for a career,” says PTE Signal.
PTE Signal will return to his Linton base - and New Zealand’s winter - in late August.
For further information please contact Defence Communications Group, 021 487 980.