Mark Povey - Leaving country
Our job starting in early October was to start getting everything ready to come back to Australia that that could come back. We had to send all our weapons back. We held on to our weapons up until probably two days prior to leaving country. Any equipment that was beyond repair stayed within country. So all the weapons came back.
The RAF aircraft arrived two days before we left country, all the weapons went on to the aircraft. A lot of radio equipment went on the plane. Anything that was of significance, came back to Australia. We handed our accommodation over to a Malaysian brigade. When we handed over, the fridges that we had there supplied by the UN, the beds, our workers had made them.
So we just handed over accommodation and all the white goods we had there. Prior to leaving country, some of the ammunition that we had was getting close to being expired. We went out one day on what was like a range. The RSM took us out and we just fired the rounds off as they couldn't come back into country, so we had to get rid of it the best we could, which was, you know, firing it.
But a lot of other stuff that was no good was just left in country you know, it was no good coming back to Australia. It had been in the heat of Somalia for nearly two years and it was no good to come back to Australia. So that was myself and my lead man's job to make sure that all got back and especially the weapons were all accounted for.