Exercise Hamel tests 7th Brigade

The Australian Army’s largest military exercise for the year wrapped up today in Shoalwater Bay Training Area on the central-Queensland coast.

CAPTIONPrivate Alex Smith of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, shouts a target indication during an assault at Shoalwater Bay Training Area as part of Exercise Hamel 2018. Photo by Leading Seaman Jake Badior.

Exercise Hamel 2018 has showcased the latest Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force technology giving personnel the opportunity to work with some of the Australian Defence Force’s most modern capabilities including amphibious, space and cyber technologies.

 

 

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Exercise Hamel Director Brigadier Ben James said the exercise was a unique event providing members of the ADF with the opportunity to train closely alongside allies from the United States Army, the United States Marine Corps and the New Zealand Defence Force.

“Exercise Hamel 2018 is a combined-arms effort to certify the Brisbane-based 7th Brigade while integrating our specialist capabilities such as intelligence, electronic warfare, aviation, engineers and unmanned aerial systems. We call this the enabled combat brigade,” Brigadier James said.

“The exercise stepped participants through a series of scenarios – the most important being the high-end war fighting capability.”

 

 

The exercise included an amphibious lodgement by both the 2nd and 8/9th Battalions, Royal Australian Regiment, support from other government departments to enable a non-combatant evacuation operation and the close coordination of Army, Navy and Air Force effects to achieve key training outcomes.

The Amphibious Task Group (ATG) featured heavily in Exercise Hamel 2018 with several Navy vessels – home to soldiers throughout the exercise – patrolling the waters around the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and helping raise the high-end amphibious capability.

“The ATG has been a key part of enabling our land forces here at Shoalwater Bay and an instrumental capability for a range of operations Army and the wider ADF are likely to be engaged in,” Brigadier James said.

Up to 9000 Defence Force personnel took part in Exercise Hamel 2018 which tested and adjusted the ADF’s high-end war fighting, humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) and non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO) capabilities.

An offshore staging and medical facility on-board HMAS Canberra also allowed for the ATG to treat injured personnel and combatants.

Exercise Hamel participants will now begin the pack-up and departure from the Shoalwater Bay Training Area over coming days.

Residents around the Rockhampton area can expect to see large convoys of vehicles transiting both north and south on major roads to Brisbane and Townsville.

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Brian Hartigan

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