Exercise Phoenix Strike goes off with a bang




Experimenting with technique and learning from experience saw sappers from 3 Combat Engineer Regiment (3CER) build upon their demolitions knowledge during Exercise Phoenix Strike in June.

CAPTION: Setting off the charge, a wooden pallet explodes during demolition training on Exercise Phoenix Strike, held in Townsville, Queensland. Story by Captain Lily Charles. Photo by Corporal Brodie Cross.

The week-long exercise was designed to enhance the sappers’ understanding of explosive and mechanical breaching, through experimenting with a range of demolition methods.

16 Combat Engineer Squadron Troop Commander Lieutenant James Bonney said such realistic training ensured his team was prepared for any real-world scenario.

“We’re certainly experimenting with a lot of different methods of attack,” Lieutenant Bonney said.

“This is important because the situation in the real world is always going to be dynamic and it’s important for us to have multiple ways to deal with the target.”

With training scenarios involving urban breaching, obstacle reduction and cutting charges in a safe and controlled environment, the exercise also allowed the squadron’s senior members to pass on pearls of wisdom to the more junior sappers.

After preparing the charges for each serial, the squadron came together to discuss the different techniques used.

Sapper Jack Tricarico said the hands-on experience and learning from others was vital to building confidence within the team.

“It is really good to learn from someone in a more senior appointment,” Sapper Tricarico said.

“It’s good to pass on the experience and knowledge to us younger sappers, so as we go up the ranks we can then pass it back down.” 16 Combat Engineer Squadron provides 3 Brigade with unique military engineering effects, with demolitions a key combat engineering function employed regularly within the brigade.





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One thought on “Exercise Phoenix Strike goes off with a bang

  • 11/07/2021 at 4:04 pm

    Loved the Sappers setting up those pallets. Enough explosives to sink the Bismarck. No way they were going to come back for a second go.


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