Australian Army soldiers from the historic Williamstown-based 2nd Commando Company, 1st Commando Regiment, made a spectacular return to parachute training in Victoria by jumping into fields near Avalon Airport.
CAPTION: An Australian Army special operations forces soldier conducts a military free-fall parachute jump from a Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules aircraft near RAAF Base Williams. Story by Major Darren Elder. Photo by Sergeant Jake Sims.
Dozens of Army commandos and special operations forces soldiers jumped from a Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules tactical airlift aircraft from just after dawn on Saturday, November 20.
Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) M said it was the first time since 1997 that the company has successfully conducted parachute continuation training in Victoria.
“Everybody is thrilled to be back in training again after such a challenging year,” WO2 M said.
“Typically, we travel to Sydney to do our annual parachute training, so we’re grateful the weather held off this weekend and we could get everybody through the training.”
The company conducted military static-line, military free-fall and ram air parachute static-line (RAPSL) jumps at Avalon and RAAF Base Point Cook.
As a 30-year veteran of the 2nd Commando Company, Sergeant C, who works for the Victorian Government full-time and the Army Reserve part-time, enjoyed being back in the air again.
“I love jumping and will always get up there as many times as I can,” she said.
“I joined the company when I was 17 because my dad was in the Air Force and I was fascinated by military service and the opportunities that it presented, like jumping out of an aircraft, shooting and other activities.”
Earlier in the year, the 2nd Commando Company personnel travelled to the Grampians for a weekend of special forces climbing and rappelling training.
Afghanistan and Iraq veteran Sergeant B worked to add parachute training in the Geelong region to the 2nd Commando Company’s regular schedule.
“The weekend proved we could do the training in Victoria, and Avalon and Point Cook were great sites and very convenient for the team,” Sergeant B said.
“We’re already looking to conduct more parachute training in the region next year.”
Based at Fort Gellibrand at Williamstown, the 2nd Commando Company was one of two independent commando companies raised by Army in 1955 to retain the unconventional warfare skills developed by Australian commandos in World War II.
Today, the 2nd Commando Company is part of the 1st Commando Regiment, which has its headquarters in Sydney.
The 1st Commando Regiment successfully integrates a full-time and part-time Army Reserve workforce to achieve its mission within Army’s Special Operations Command.
The 1st Commando Regiment soldiers regularly conduct training activities in Papua New Guinea and elsewhere across the Asia-Pacific region, and many have served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands in recent years.