Former Rocky girl fires back into town for tank job
A FORMER Rockhampton soccer player returned home recently, but instead of playing ball, she was driving tanks.
Exercise Diamond Run 2017 at Shoalwater Bay Training Area capped off an exciting couple of weeks for new tank driver, Trooper Jessica Torrens.
The 18-year-old member of 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) hails from Rockhampton and Ex Diamond Run is her first major exercise.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed Exercise Diamond Run. I am learning a lot, which is great,” Trooper Torrens said.
The former student of Emmaus College, Rockhampton wasted no time in joining the Army, signing up immediately after finishing high school.
''I wanted to get out and experience the world a little more than just Rockhampton.
" I wanted to show everyone that I could do something different. I didn't want the same every day kind of job,” Trooper Torrens added.
The former Southside United defender says her mum was a little apprehensive about her joining the Army. Her dad, however, couldn't be more proud.
"Dad was absolutely ecstatic, he drove down to Brisbane on the weekend to watch the parade. He absolutely loved it.”
Trooper Torrens was referring to the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (QMI) Freedom of Entry parade into Brisbane city on Oct 28 that saw Brisbane based 7th Brigade officially receive its new complement of tanks.
Ex Diamond Run saw 7th Brigade begin the process of integrating its new M1A1 Abrams tanks.
Trooper Torrens took part in live fire exercises and tactical scenarios with 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
"We're showing the rest of the Brigade our capability and how the tanks can be utilised in the future,” she said.
Trooper Torrens underwent basic Army training at Kapooka before learning how to drive the M1A1 Abrams at Puckapunyal.
"My role as a driver is to get the tank into a position so that the crew can successfully engage the enemy,” she said.
The M1A1 Abrams weighs 62 tonnes with speeds of more than 60km/h.
Trooper Torrens was quick to answer what her favourite experiences were so far.
"Definitely driving these tanks and the mates you make,” she says.
Ex Diamond Run involved over 1600 soldiers and ran from October 14 to November 8 at Shoalwater Bay Training Area.