8/9RAR setting sights on busy year ahead

Soldiers from the 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, conducted live-fire training at Wide Bay and Greenbank training areas in Queensland as part of Exercise Ram Shot in February.

CAPTION: A soldier engages a target with an EF88 Austeyr as part of combat shooting serials during Exercise Ram Shot. Story by Captain Cody Tsaousis. Photo by Corporal Nicole Dorrett.

Members completed mounted and dismounted live fire using static and dynamic drills, including section attacks, shooting through obstacles and firing a MAG 58 general purpose machine gun off a Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle.

Lieutenant Daniel Kelleher said it was a good chance to practise getting the basics right ahead of major exercises later in the year, including Exercise Talisman Sabre.

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CAPTION: Soldiers engage a target from a low firing position with EF88 Austeyrs. Photo by Corporal Nicole Dorrett.

“It’s really beneficial to get the soldiers live-firing, especially ahead of a busy year coming up,” he said.

“It’s part of our bread and butter; it’s incredibly important and it’s great for them to spend some more time in a field environment.”

Companies alternated between Greenbank and Wide Bay, enhancing their capability to quickly adapt to different environments.

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CAPTION: Corporal Samuel Mallon engages a target with an EF88 Austeyr. Photo by Corporal Nicole Dorrett.

Private Shaun Wickham said he enjoyed the exercise and it was a great opportunity to bond with the soldiers he will spend a lot of field time with.

“It’s good to get out at the start of the year and get hands on tools and fire some rounds down range,” he said.

“It’s great to spend some time with everyone; they’re a great group to be around and it’ll bring us closer together ahead of a big few months.”

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CAPTION: An Army rifleman from 8th/9th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, loads a MAG 58 as part of a mounted static live fire practice during Exercise Ram Shot. Photo by Corporal Nicole Dorrett.


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