Infantry sea a new way to train
A ship is an unlikely setting for infantry training, but an Army unit aboard HMAS Canberra made it one while travelling to Hawaii for Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022.
CAPTION: Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment during a live fire shoot on board HMAS Canberra in the lead up to Excercise Rim of the Pacific 2022. Story by Flying Officer Lily Lancaster. Photo by Corporal John Solomon.
Australia’s Amphibious Force, 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) and its Multi-National Landing Force made the most of its time aboard the landing helicopter dock, conducting training such as combat first aid, population protection and control, and urban clearance drills.
Also aboard the ship were personnel from His Majesty’s Armed Forces (HMAF) Tonga, who enjoyed the opportunity to conduct a small arms live fire on the flight deck, looking out to the ocean.
Their Australian Army counterparts, who had earlier in the month trained the HMAF soldiers in the use of their EF88 Austyer rifles at Lavarack Barracks, Townsville, engaged in a friendly skills competition with them.
Commanding Officer of the contingent Lieutenant Colonel Mark Tutton was proud to see the teams working well together.
“It was a pleasure to have our Pacific brothers aboard with us, to train together and learn from and with each other. We were like-minded partners and it was great to see the soldiers bonding over their shared experiences and interests.” Lieutenant Colonel Tutton said.
Support platoons and infantry soldiers from across Lavarack Barracks have deployed as one contingent. It is the first time on a ship for many and their first time conducting infantry training outside beyond the field environment.
“For 2RAR, as a specialised amphibious force, we spend a significant portion of time each year at sea and therefore we have to find ways to train our core infantry skills whilst at sea,” Lieutenant Colonel Tutton said.
Each day, soldiers could be found in the gym, on the light vehicle deck practising weapons drills or on training courses.