Townsville’s 3rd Brigade have kicked off the 2021 training year with Exercise Brolga Crawl from March 8 to 26, which ensured every soldiers’ foundation warfighting skills were of the highest calibre.
CAPTION: Soldiers from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment engage an enemy position with the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle’s 25mm M242 Bushmaster Chain Gun during a troop live-fire attack. Photo by Corporal Brodie Cross.
The exercise was conducted at troop and platoon level to develop individual technical skills as well as basic soldiering, leadership and collective team building within the tactical environment.
For many 3rd Brigade soldiers, this was the first exercise with their posted unit after recruit training.
Trooper Zoe Shipley from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment said she relished the opportunity to experience training in the field environment.
“This is my first exercise ever. I’m just starting out, but I’ve learnt so much so far from all the ranks around me, it’s really good to have those mentors,” Trooper Shipley said.
“We’ve been doing troop training, patrols, formations and all the basic stuff. Physically and mentally the training is tough but it’s fantastic.”
After a reduced training period, troops were keen to get back out on the range and put their skills to the test.
Crew Commander 2nd Cavalry Regiment Lance Corporal Bailey Cassidy said team morale was high.
“Everyone’s attitude and willingness to get out there and smash it out is a lot higher,” Lance Corporal Cassidy said.
“Due to COVID-19 we haven’t trained in a long time, so to get out and do our job is really good. The most exciting thing for me is being crew commander, having a bit more responsibility and doing more.”
Using a suite of advanced equipment and weapons systems in training such as Exercise Brolga Crawl ensured units within 3rd Brigade were prepared and ready to respond to all possible scenarios and operational requirements.
Commander 3rd Brigade Brigadier Kahlil Fegan said developing small-team skills in a crawl exercise was essential before progressing to more complex scenarios.
“This training is absolutely essential. Over the past 12 months we’ve had the privilege of deploying about 1400 soldiers on operations and the reason they have performed so well and so safely in support of our communities and coalition partners is because they’re so well trained,” Brigadier Fegan said.
“Some soldiers are practising their infantry minor tactics, others are working with very technical and sensitive pieces of equipment and others are using some of the high-end collective warfighting capabilities such as the M1 Abrams tank.
“We’re looking at always being future ready and embracing new technologies to give us a competitive advantage on the battlefield.”