As we’re having something of a Defence moment, today’s photo is of the Army on the move. It’s a strange thing about Darwin that you can be driving along quite happily only to see one or more Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) or tanks making their way up the road as well. The first time you see it you do blink a bit but over time you just say to yourself “that’s interesting, I wonder where they’re going?” The other day they were powering up Tiger Brennan Drive (aka motorway) towards the base at Roberston Barracks, Palmerston. Turns out that they had been shipped back from manoeuvres in Townsville, Queensland. They weren’t chugging either as the paper suggests, they were giving the motorists a run for their money.
Then you go shopping at Palmerston and see a regular sprinkling of Army uniforms. These have changed their colouration over the years we’ve been here: from the jungle camouflage when they were peace-keeping in Timor to the newer desert camouflage which has been in place with Iraq and Afghanistan. The only other place where I’ve had a similar experience is Townsville, another critical Defence location in Australia’s north.
Lest you think that the Navy has no role in Darwin, think again. It’s common to see Naval vessels anchored across the harbour or powering in to anchor. Until a few years ago it was a Darwin joke that the Army base was at Larrakeyah on the waterfront and the Navy was based at HMAS Coonawarra some kilometres inland, though the Admiral’s house had a nice view of the sea over Fannie Bay. All that has changed and the forces are now much logically situated.
I’ve said it before, we live in a Defence (or should that be defence?) town.