For most soldiers on operations at Joint Task Force 633’s Camp Baird in the Middle East, downtime consists of gym time, watching movies and digital gaming. 

But for two Force Support Element –12 (FSE-12) soldiers, downtown became an opportunity to leave a small but lasting legacy.

Craftsman Cameron Purdon and Lance Corporal Jordan Westcott made and gifted two large Joint Task Force 633 plaques.

“It was a chance to do something permanent for the headquarters and something which represented FSE-12,” Craftsman Purdon said.

The plaques took about four weeks of effort, from design through to the cutting, painting and mounting.

Sourcing materials was only the start of the adventure as both men had never created anything in wood before.

“Jordan is a metal worker and I’m an electronics technician,” Craftsman Purdon said.

“I just adapted my skills with painting and construction that I developed through my normal hobby, which is war gaming.”

Lance Corporal Westcott started the work and Craftsman Purdon took over to complete the project that expanded during the production.

“We were originally going to do the door plaque but as we went along we were doing so well we decided to make two,” Craftsman Purdon said.

Valuable help also came from Craftsman Purdon’s home unit in Adelaide which 3D-printed the lettering to ensure accuracy.

Craftsman Purdon said the result was well received by their unit. 

“The Artificer Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class Two Jamie Redman and the Officer Commanding Major Dominic Tracey, were really impressed with the final result,” Craftsman Purdon said.

“When I was told it was going to be mounted in the meeting room right behind the Commander’s seat I was stoked, absolutely over the moon,” Craftsman Purdon said.

“It’s equally great to know that one day our work will come back to Australia and become part of the Australian War Memorial’s collection – that’s pretty special.”