Exercise Diamond Strike 2018 is an Australian Army live-fire combined-arms training activity conducted in Shoalwater Bay on the central-Queensland coast as a lead up to Exercise Hamel 2018.
CAPTION: An Australian Army M1 Abrams tank on live-fire exercise at Shoalwater Bay during Exercise Diamond Strike 2018. Photo by Corporal Oliver Carter.
Exercise Diamond Strike 2018 is one of a series of land and sea exercises involving the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force – and incorporating US Marines from Marine Rotational Force-Darwin.
This year’s Exercise Diamond Strike 2018 was conducted predominately by units from the Australian Army’s Brisbane-based 7th Combat Brigade, which is a multi-role formation consisting of infantry, armour, engineers, signals and logistics elements.
The 7th Combat Brigade was supported by a company of United States Marines from the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin and units from 16th Aviation Brigade and 17th Combat Service Support Brigade.
This exercise ensures these Army elements are ready for potential future deployments.
A heavy focus for Exercise Diamond Strike 2018 was on technological advancements such as the implementation of digitisation as a means of improving situational awareness, speed of decision-making and rates of execution, particularly in a contested electromagnetic-spectrum environments.
Digitisation helps in commanding armoured vehicles that are travelling and fighting at high speed, and more accurately targeting artillery rounds.
Exercise Diamond Strike 2018 was the first time the 7th Combat Brigade has used their recently acquired M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks during combined-arms training and live fire.