Annual comp enhances skills and camaraderie

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR) competed in the annual military skills competition alongside New Zealand and Canadian soldiers.

CAPTION: Armoured Personnel Carrier transports soldiers during Exercise Opie Trophy at Townsville Field Training Area. Story by Captain Joanne Leca. All photos by Lance Coporal Riley Blennerhassett.

Exercise Opie Trophy tests soldiers in field and infantry skills, including physical fitness, shooting, communications, navigation, first aid and vehicle recognition.

A few soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry joined in this year’s competition, held at the end of March.

Lieutenant Dion Firth, of 3RAR, commanded the firing range serial, which tests soldiers on their section defence techniques and combat behaviours.

“Each serial is designed to test soldiers on the skills expected from them in the field,” Lieutenant Firth said.

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CAPTION: Army soldiers march between stands for Exercise Opie.

“As well as being a great challenge for our soldiers, this is also an opportunity for the ADF to share skills with the New Zealand and Canadian force elements.”

Commanding Officer of 3RAR, Lieutenant Colonel Jack Westhorpe, said it was great seeing a bit of healthy competition happening between the ADF and international forces.

“The competition has been a fantastic way to foster stronger connections with allied forces, develop personal friendships and trust between soldiers and nations through military camaraderie,” Lieutenant Colonel Westhorpe said.

“These long-standing relationships have been forged in battle and are strengthened through activities like Opie Trophy.

“I am very proud of the efforts of all the competitors involved.”


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