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David Franz – Brisbane

YOU might not expect a linguistics and criminology student to be on the front-line of security at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, but Army Reserve soldier Private David Franz has done just that.

The 27-year-old Brisbanite and about 160 Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reserve personnel were sent to the Gold Coast to assist the Queensland Police Service with security for the Games.

"We manned vehicle search areas and screened every vehicle coming in and out of the venues for dangerous items to make sure the sites were safe," Private Franz said.

"Working with the other agencies was great, there's no rivalry and we were all working toward a common goal – to keep the public safe," he said.

Private Franz said although searching vehicles is very different from his usual role as a Rifleman, he was well prepared for the task.

"We completed a training program with the Engineers from 2 Combat Engineer Regiment at Enoggera Barracks here in Brisbane," he said.

"There we learned about the different types of searching, like personnel, building and vehicle searching, and how to manage a situation if something is found.

"We also learned about maintaining a good mindset towards safety, security and vigilance."

The ADF has extensive experience providing security assistance to major events, such as the G20 Leader's Summit in 2014 and the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Private Franz is a Brisbane local and joined the Army Reserve as a Rifleman to supplement his income while studying at the University of Queensland. 

He was posted to the 9th Battalion, the Royal Queensland Regiment after completing his initial training and said the Army Reserve supports his studies.

"The Army Reserve is very flexible and accommodating, it works around my studies very well." he said.

"If I need time off for an exam, my unit is more than happy for me to do that, but likewise my university is also understanding of my Army commitments."

Private Franz said he enjoys his military service and is considering applying to become a full-time soldier.

"I'm really interested in linguistics and hope that my analytical skills will help me transfer into the Australian Army Intelligence Corps."

The ADF Reserves are just one component of about 1700 ADF personnel who supported security arrangements for the Games.

The ADF contribution also included Army Explosive Detection Dogs, MRH90 'Taipan' helicopters, Air Force F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, Navy Clearance Divers and a ceremonial contingent.