All arms brought to bear

Soldiers from 7 Combat Brigade now have a deeper understanding of the combat power the Army can generate thanks to a live-fire defensive operation serial conducted at Shoalwater Bay Training Area during Exercise Diamond Walk.

CAPTION: Australian Army Warrant Officer Class Two Matt Watt (centre) from the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment, (Queensland Mounted Infantry) gives a safety brief before a live-fire offensive operation serial featuring soldiers from the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment and the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment during Exercise Diamond Walk at Shoalwater Bay, Queensland. Story by Captain Jesse Robilliard. Photo by Private Jacob Hilton.

In a scripted event, almost all the combat power organic to the 7 Combat Brigade was used against a fictional enemy.

The serial began with sniper fire and the firing of a Javelin anti-armour weapon before rounds from Mark 47 Automatic Grenade Launchers and 84 millimetre Carl Gustav weapons joined the fray.

The serial continued with indirect and direct fires from M777 howitzers from 1 Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, before M1A1 Main Battle Tanks from 2/14 Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) moved into position to provide further firepower.

Soldiers from 6 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and 2 Combat Engineer Regiment then joined in firing small arms and HE from entrenched positions.

Commander 7 Combat Brigade, Brigadier Jason Blain, said it was a very important battlefield inoculation experience for soldiers.

“This activity allowed the dismounted infantry and engineers, and all those around them, to see, hear, smell and feel the combined arms effect that can be delivered when you work together in a defensive phase of operations,” Brigadier Blain said.

“We had live rounds being used across a broad range of organic weapon systems being engaged at targets from about 4000 metres, and then all the way forward to directly in front of dug-in positions.”

Soldiers from the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fire a Javelin anti-armour weapon during a live-fire defence serial held for Exercise Diamond Walk at Shoalwater Bay, Queensland. Photo by Private Jacob Hilton.
CAPTION: Soldiers from the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fire a Javelin anti-armour weapon during a live-fire defence serial held for Exercise Diamond Walk at Shoalwater Bay, Queensland. Photo by Private Jacob Hilton.

Corporal Wilson Purdie from 6 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, said the defensive operation serial was a thrill for many soldiers.

“It’s great for the junior soldiers who haven’t experienced this kind of thing before. It’s a lot of these soldiers’ first exercise being integrated within the combined arms space,” he said.

“Having that familiarisation with the tanks as well as artillery is very rewarding. I think they got a lot out of it.”

Brigadier Blain said the exercise was important for 7 Brigade after a big start to 2021.

“7 Brigade has been very busy supporting domestic operations,” he said.

“Last year it was with bushfires, and also more recently it has been with floods, and we continue conducting operations supporting COVID-19.

“This activity is about sharpening our conventional warfighting skills because we are a warfighting brigade.”

Exercise Diamond Walk is on until June 11.

CAPTION: Soldiers from the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fire an Automatic Grenade Launcher during a live-fire defence serial held for Exercise Diamond Walk at Shoalwater Bay, Queensland. Photo by Private Jacob Hilton.
CAPTION: Soldiers from the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fire an Automatic Grenade Launcher during a live-fire defence serial held for Exercise Diamond Walk at Shoalwater Bay, Queensland. Photo by Private Jacob Hilton.

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