Good prep for combined arms training

Department of Defence

1st Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery soldiers conducted live-fire training recently to enhance their readiness for their combined arms training activity later in the year.

Another key component of Exercise Barce, at Shoalwater Bay, was the incorporation of joint capabilities with the Air Force.

The soldiers conducted a simulated supply drop using a C-27 Spartan, and called in artillery fire on a target via a forward air controller in a PC-21.

Officer in Charge of guns for 104 Battery, Major Liam Hurley, said the exercise was a new experience for some of the soldiers.

“At any one time there was one battery conducting live-fire artillery engagements, while other elements of the regiment were taking part in dry-fire training containing tactical resupplies, urban observation point occupation, and tactical gun position movement occupation,” he said.

Basic soldier skills were put to the test with dismounted training at the urban operations training facility.

Captain Andrew Robertson said it was crucial for soldiers to be sufficient in multiple skillsets.

“Dismount training is important because we support manoeuvre elements when it comes to providing joint fires and effects,” he said.

“An important part of our job is not only being able to master basic soldier skills and function as part of an infantry company or armoured call sign, but also to be able to apply our technical skills and artillery knowledge at the same time.”

He said the soldiers’ improvement in a short amount of time was impressive, especially in what was a new environment to many of them.

Major Hurley said he was pleased with the performance of the entire battery, which put the unit in a good position to progress its training.

“All of the soldiers have been exemplary; the training has been of the highest standard and it’s great to shake out and prepare for a good year.”

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