Clandestine, agile and lethal are the words to describe the soldiers who executed live-fire anti-armour stalks using direct-fire support weapons (DFSW) during Exercise Kapyong Warrior.
CAPTION: A soldier from 3 RAR fires a Javelin FGM-148 direct fire, guided weapon system during Exercise Kapyong Warrior. Story by Captain Diana Jennings. Photo by Corporal Dustin Anderson.
Infantry soldiers of the 3rd Brigade’s 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR), conducted Exercise Kapyong Warrior at the Townsville field training area in June to develop battalion and company-level skills before conducting the brigade warfighter activity.
Section commander Lance Corporal Ethan Moulden, who led his team through an anti-armour stalk to eliminate enemy targets, said their ability to move on foot in small teams was vital to maintaining a low profile within the battlespace while still being effective.
“Using our small teams on foot makes it harder for the enemy to identify, so we can clandestinely move in, find an area that’s concealed and have an effect upon the enemy to achieve the mission,” LCpl Moulden said.
“We can provide anything from harassment, all the way to completely destroying medium-armoured vehicles, and do this without having a very large footprint or signature for the enemy to pick up.”
Infiltrating an offensive firing position is no easy feat. With challenging terrain, weapons and ammunition, the sections are highly trained to execute physically demanding missions.
“The terrain is pretty undulating and the weight of small arms, body armour, helmet, and the 84mm itself, which weighs about 20 kilos, makes moving through undetected difficult, but we get it done,” LCpl Moulden said.
Firing one of two Javelin missiles, Private Jarrod Raines, from DFSW Platoon, had an even more explosive task to execute during his sections anti-armour stalk, which he described as a mixed sense of calm and adrenaline.
“We keep a low profile during infill, scanning for the high-value target, and once we’re happy with the position we wait silently for H-hour to be called over the radio,” Pte Raines said.
“It’s a great feeling. You get a rush when the missile leaves the tube, and when it hits the target there’s a lot of adrenaline. Then you just get out of there as quick as possible while the 84mm smoke covers our ex-fill route.”
Holding the ability to provide direct fire support, Pte Raines said the live-fire activities were a training highlight and an opportunity to display their skills.
“It was a fantastic experience and definitely a great feeling to get out and perform our job to a high standard,” he said.
“Live fire is a great opportunity to display our lethality on the battlefield and it just goes to show that we’re ready and we can do this anywhere.”