Tanks from 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) participated in live-fire exercise at Shoalwater Bay Training Area this week.
CAPTION: An M1A1 Abrams tank from the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) fires its main gun during a live-fire practice at Shoalwater Bay Training Area during Exercise Diamond Run 2017. Photo by Corporal David Said.
The activity was part of Exercise Diamond Run 2017.
This was the first time 7th Brigade has employed its newly acquired M1A1 Abrams tanks on exercise.
Brisbane’s 7th Brigade is employing its newly acquired M1A1 Abrams Tanks on exercise for the first time marking the realisation of the Australian Army’s Plan Beersheba.
Exercise Diamond Run involves five M1A1 Abram main battle tanks conducting both live-fire and dry-run combined-arms training at Shoalwater Bay Training Area.
Commander 7th Brigade Brigadier Anthony Rawlins said that while the brigade had operated with tanks in the past, tanks had never been part of the brigade’s normal inventory.
“Tanks provide the firepower, protection and communications enabling the combat brigade to be heavy hitting on the battlefield, so it’s very exciting,” Brigadier Rawlins said.
“It also reaffirms the capability of Army to maintain the heavy combat power of a ‘Beersheba brigade’ in a suburban base in Enoggera, which is very important, and the Brisbane community is really excited about it.
“This marks the logical conclusion of a transformational project that allows us to position Army in the contemporary battle space as both relevant and decisive.”
The incorporation of tanks into 7th Brigade is an important milestone for the Australian Army as it marks the conclusion of Plan Beersheba, a significant restructure of Australia’s three combat brigades.
Exercise Diamond Run 2017 is also the first time 7th Brigade soldiers are using the new EF88 Austeyer rifle, Mk47 lightweight automatic grenade launcher and soldier combat ensemble on a major exercise.
Diamond Run is 7th Brigade’s largest exercise of the year and aims to evaluate the foundation warfighting skills of its soldiers before becoming the Australian Army’s Ready Brigade next year and is particularly important for 8/9RAR who will become the ready battalion group.
Brigadier Rawlins said that if there was a requirement for a contingency response anywhere around the world, this would be the organisation that would be ready to go.
“This is the lead-in element of their future training cycle that will get them to the peak of readiness.”
More than 1600 soldiers are taking part in the exercise which runs from 14 October to 8 November.