Monday, January 17, 2011


Chance smiled on Windsor-based fraternal twins Able Seaman Mark Hibbins and Corporal Grant Hibbins when they unexpectedly crossed paths recently at Al Minhad Air Base in the Middle East.
Image of Able Seaman Mark Hibbins and Corporal Grant Hibbins in DPCUs
Able Seaman Mark Hibbins (left) and Corporal Grant Hibbins
After finishing his four-month deployment at Al Minhad, RAAFie Grant was making arrangements to return to Australia when his brother Mark arrived to start his eight-month deployment.
“It was good to see him because I didn’t get a chance to before I left for my deployment,” Grant said. “We were pretty lucky to catch up with each other here of all places,”
Grant, 24, had been working in Australia’s procurement and contracting cell on the base.
“As a supply corporal my main role is to pay all the service and purchase bills. I dealt with day to day things like cleaning costs and local purchases for the base,” Grant said.
Mark, who is 20 minutes older than his brother Grant, has specialised in Naval stores. He would be working at the equipment-issuing store — called the Q Store.

“I will be helping to issue gear and collect equipment from personnel who come in and out of the Middle East Area of Operations,” Mark said. “The Q Store also stows defence members’ weapons when they go away on leave, so I will look after those as well,”
“It will certainly be different from working on a ship. I might even get the chance to go to Afghanistan. All around, this deployment is a good opportunity for me.”
The twins have followed in their father’s footsteps by joining supply categories in Defence.
“Our dad worked in the Air Force’s supply branch for 22 years and our grandfather was an engineer, so our family has a strong Air Force lineage,” Grant said.
“Mark and I are both colour blind, so we were limited in our career options with Defence, but dad had a great career in supply so we thought we would give it a go too.”
Mark said that when he approached Defence Force Recruiting he had every intention of joining the Air Force but joined the Navy instead.
“I guess I did break the family’s Air Force tradition a little, but I just liked the sound of Navy better. Navy just seemed like it was more for me,” Mark said.
Apart from sharing similar careers in the Australian Defence Force, the brothers also share a passion for AFL.
“We both played footy together as kids in Windsor. I played for Hawkesbury and the Nor-West Jets until I was 18 and then I went up a league,” Mark said.
“Grant went away to join the Air Force in 2005 and then the following year I enlisted in the Navy.
“Ever since we’ve been old enough to hit each other there’s been rivalry between us, but it’s just a bit of fun. As kids, we held a lot of competitions to try and determine who was better at playing footy.”

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