Iconic Kalbarri Gorge in Western Australia’s Midwest was the spectacular backdrop for an Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) adventurous training activity for the unit in late-2021.
CAPTION: Australian Army personnel from the Special Air Service Regiment negotiate a section of the Murchison River during an adventurous training activity in Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia. Story by Captain Dave Cusworth.
Fifteen SASR personnel, led by instructors WO2 S and Sgt H, drove seven hours north from Perth to Kalbarri National Park’s spectacular red and white stripped sandstone gorges and cliffs.
SASR special operations force personnel from logistics, health, signals, catering, administrative, technical and engineering trades are vital to supporting operations and training, according to WO2 S.
“SASR has a very high tempo and, although a rewarding posting for all these trades, we try throughout the year to provide leadership and personal development opportunities to further enhance the experience for all our special operations force personnel,” WO2 S said.
“The trip to Kalbarri Gorge was a chance to enjoy the outdoors, challenge our people and reward them for all the past year’s hard work and challenges.”
The adventurous training started at Nature’s Window inside Kalbarri National Park and finished 15km upstream of the Murchison River at the Z Bend feature.
“The activity pushed everyone to hike, boulder, rappel, climb and swim to get through the gorge – one swim was 500 metres long and was flanked by stunning 40-metre-high sandstone cliffs,” WO2 S said.
Everyone needed to be self-sufficient throughout the three-day trip.
“The activity built teamwork and challenged everybody to work safely at heights and overcome any fears they had, plus show self-control, determination and trust in line with Defence values and adventurous training objectives.
“Adventurous training translates well for our soldiers to expose them to operational stressors, and this unique experience provides an excellent exposure to a foreign environment and an opportunity for personal growth,” WO2 S said.