IN ADDITION to sore arms, sore legs and wet hair, some of Ipswich's major employers will have come away from the Amberley RAAF base with a new perspective on the knowledge and skills possessed by the city's wealth of air force, army and navy reservists.
A group of business owners, managers, CEOs and even a university vice-chancellor were invited to try their hand at some of the rigorous and challenging training activities that are regularly undertaken by hundreds of RAAF Reserves every week.
City of Brisbane 23 Squadron leader Sandra Ward said the Employer Challenge Day was designed to provide employers with a better understanding of the potential benefits of having employees in the reserves.
"We are trying to increase awareness of the role of reservists in the air force," she said.
"This gives employers an idea of the skills that reservists possess and that by letting employees participate in the reserves, they will get a lot in return.
"A lot of these exercises involve fitness and team work."
After an early start, the bosses were put through their paces on a challenging obstacle course that dangled precariously over the RAAF base's indoor swimming pool.
The maze of ropes, tunnels and bridges was said to challenge even the fittest of seasoned defence force men and women - so it was little surprise to see the newcomers topple into the pool with great regularity.
In a full day of training exercises, the bosses also got to see the Amberley base's new Super Hornets up close, as well as the Bushmaster armoured vehicles.
A session inside the base's simulated weapons training facility was included in the seven-hour experience.
Ross Llewellyn Motors general manager James Sturges said he had enjoyed the opportunity to learn the ropes.
"The obstacle course is daunting to look at and even more daunting once you get up there," he said.
"I am not the world's fittest guy but I am looking forward to learning more about how the reservists work.
"In these interesting times I think it is important to show support to all the armed forces."
When she is not busy looking after her division as an Ipswich City councillor, Cheryl Bromage fulfils the role of chair of the south-east Queensland Reserve Support Council.
Cr Bromage said the work of reservists was vital in peace-keeping and humanitarian efforts like the one currently taking place in the Solomon Islands - Operation Ramsi.
"The skills people learn as reservists can assist them for the rest of their working life," Cr Bromage said.
There are about 500 reservists in the 23 Sqn alone, however Cr Bromage said Ipswich was home to many more people who had joined Army or Navy units.