Warfighting elements come together for a show of combat prowess at Shoalwater Bay
BRISBANE’S 7 Bde is at the pinnacle of readiness according to Brigade Commander Brig Anthony Rawlins following Exercise Diamond Sprint from May 16-30.
The two-week exercise at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area north of Rockhampton was one of the brigade’s last before moving to the reset phase of the force generation cycle in August.
“It was one of the best exercises in which I’ve been involved in my 32 years in the Army,” Brig Rawlins said.
“It was designed for us to remediate some of our conventional warfighting skills in a peer opposition environment, in a conventional setting and as a defensive exercise it went extraordinarily well.”
Brigade members were tested in combat team live-fire scenarios and urban operations culminating in a 12-hour live-fire defensive battle across 37 sq km of terrain against a fictional enemy.
OC Spt Coy, 6RAR, Maj Jan Koudelka said most of 7 Bde’s weapons systems and assets were used during the final battle.
“We saw ASLAVs integrate with the infantry, we had infantry small arms fire, machine gun fire, javelin weapon systems, 84mm weapon systems, 66 rockets – every system you can image all the way from the grenade to the bayonet,” he said.
“It tests not only the soldiers but all the way to command level because it’s very difficult once we have offensive support on a position, machine gun fire and heavy weapons fire across a position, to identify and understand what’s going on.”
7 Bde will now play enemy against 1 Bde at Exercise Hamel later this month before handing over its ‘ready’ tag to 1 Bde.
“What I saw on this activity is that we will give 1 Bde a difficult problem set, which is exactly what they want and what they will expect and we will stretch them to their limits,” Brig Rawlins said.
Exercise Diamond Sprint was held in conjunction with Exercise Southern Jackaroo, a trilateral activity between Australia, US and Japan enabling participants to train together and share skills..
Published in ARMY Newspaper 16 June 2016