Business Development Lead – Land, Mark Nesti, is leading Babcock Australasia’s solution for the Australian Army’s LAND 125 Phase 4 Integrated Soldier System. Mark’s expertise draws on a significant career of military service with the Australian Army, which ensures customer and end-user needs are at the forefront of Babcock’s offer.
My military career began in 1987, when I enlisted in the Australian Army as an Infantry Soldier. This sparked a 12-year stint of military service, where my experience initially included scouting and reconnaissance roles with 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR) and 2nd/4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2/4 RAR) within the Royal Australian Infantry Corp. I then transferred to the Corp of Royal Australian Electrical Mechanical Engineers (RAEME), where I undertook roles in Operating Level Maintenance (OLM) and Intermediate Level Maintenance (ILM) as well as post-maintenance test flight operations on a range of aircraft with 171st Aviation Squadron (171 SQN) and C Squadron (C SQN).
During my service, I was involved in various peacetime deployments, including Exercise CALTROP FORCE, located at Fort Ord and Fort Hunter Liggett in California, United States. As a pre-Persian Gulf War interoperability exercise between Australia, Britain, Canada and America (United States), this exercise focused on transitioning 6 RAR from close country warfare (within jungle and rainforest environments) to urban warfare close quarters battle (QCB).
My service extended from 1987 to 1999 – a period when most soldiers were required to heavily modify or create their own webbing and buy packs to suit their role. This was an era when equipment was not suitable for the load carriage and tasks being performed, particularly long range patrolling, scouting and reconnaissance. At this time, next-generation thermal imaging technology had entered service, requiring soldiers to move through and sleep in challenging terrain, including creek lines and freezing temperatures in order to reduce thermal signature.
Reflecting on my service, I am most proud of my efforts and achievements when conducting activities and operating within surroundings that were the most extreme. It is within these very rare occasions that you realise ‘limits’ are self-imposed protections and that you can always give a bit more. This is when you truly see yourself.
Within my role at Babcock, I am responsible for leading the business development efforts for the company’s Land division. Working on Babcock’s bid for LAND 125 Phase 4 enables me to work on next generation frontline soldier equipment, draw upon my experience in reconnaissance, and combine my knowledge in artificial intelligence (AI) edge computing, messaging applications and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) platforms.
I am proud to continue my commitment to Defence, share my experiences and knowledge from service, and support Defence capability at Babcock.