Com­mand­ing of­fi­cer tar­gets lo­cal tal­ent

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

The Pil­bara Reg­i­ment has a new com­mand­ing of­fi­cer, who aims to con­tinue to grow the army’s pres­ence in the re­gion through re­cruit­ment of res­i­dents.

Lieu­tenant-Colonel Stu­art Purves has moved to the Pil­bara from Syd­ney, where he was in­volved in re­or­gan­is­ing and mod­ernising the army, to take over the top role at the Pil­bara Reg­i­ment.

Lt-Col Purves said the army was al­ways his call­ing.

But he didn’t join un­til his mid-20s be­cause of study, work and travel com­mit­ments.

“I was given the op­por­tu­nity to com­mand this reg­i­ment by the chief of the army and it’s an op­por­tu­nity I was never go­ing to turn down,” he said.

“For me it wasn’t some­thing I had to umm and ah and mull over; it was some­thing I agreed to straight away.

“I think this or­gan­i­sa­tion was al­ready very well run by the pre­vi­ous com­mand team so my aim is just to con­tinue to de­velop and im­prove the reg­i­ment.”

The Pil­bara Reg­i­ment uses six­man pa­trols op­er­at­ing out of two ve­hi­cles to pro­vide per­sis­tent sur­veil­lance in the re­gion.

Lt-Col. Purves said pa­trols could grow to sev­eral ve­hi­cle pa­trols cov­er­ing a wide area in both static sur­veil­lance and mo­bile pres­ence pa­trols.

He said lo­cals of­ten made the best re­cruits be­cause they had a good idea of the lay of the land.

“If there are peo­ple out there who want to join the reg­i­ment and serve the coun­try in the re­gion to pro­vide that per­sis­tent sur­veil­lance ef­fort to se­cure Aus­tralia’s bor­ders then we are out there look­ing for them,” he said.

“We de­liver train­ing in ba­sic sol­dier­ing, pa­trolling, how to use ve­hi­cles, how to sur­vive off the land, main­tain your­self for a long pe­riod of time in the field, ve­hi­cle main­te­nance, all that sort of stuff here within the reg­i­ment.

“That’s im­por­tant to us be­cause there’s no point send­ing some­one to the east coast to learn how to live in the field when the en­vi­ron­ment over there is com­pletely dif­fer­ent to the en­vi­ron­ment here.”

Pil­bara Reg­i­ment Reg­i­men­tal Sergeant-Ma­jor Brian Riegel said he was look­ing for­ward to An­zac Day this year and ex­pect­ing num­bers to be up from the well-at­tended ser­vice last year.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Pil­bara Reg­i­ment com­mand­ing of­fi­cer Lieu­tenant-Colonel Stu­art Purves and Reg­i­men­tal Sergeant-Ma­jor Brian Riegel.

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