About 18,000 people from south-east Queensland registered to attend the Gallipoli Barracks Open Day at Enoggera on 20 May.
CAPTION: Members of the public have a close look at an M1A1 Abrams main battle tank at the Gallipoli Barracks Open Day 2023. Story by Captain Cody Tsaousis. Photo by Corporal Nicole Dorrett.
Units from across Gallipoli Barracks delighted the crowds with dynamic and static displays demonstrating Army’s capabilities.
Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force also took part, with a C-27J Spartan fly-past proving to be a crowd favourite.
A section attack from 8th/9th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (8/9RAR), and Military Police dog demonstration by the 1st Military Police Battalion were also major drawcards.
Lieutenant Nishant Khisty, 8/9RAR, said it was great to see the audience enjoying the display.
“It got a really good reception,” Lieutenant Khisty said.
“I think the crowd got really stuck into it and there were plenty of cheers when we secured the enemy position, so that was great to see.
“It would’ve been an interesting experience for the soldiers doing it in front of so many people, but they’re all professionals and they treated it like a normal section attack.”
The departure of an Army MRH-90 Taipan also drew a huge crowd, as did the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment explosive-device search demonstration.
The opportunity to get a close look at, or in some cases inside, military equipment was a feature of the day for many.
Lauren Fitzgibbon, who attended with Rohan, 7, and Harry, 8, said it was an exciting day for all the children.
“It was a really good day and there was plenty to do,” she said.
“The kids were excited to check out everything and jump on some rides.
“The boys both received a medal from Defence Families of Australia in the morning, so that was a nice moment too.”
Boxers, ASLAVs, M1 Abrams, Bushmaster PMVs, and M113AS4 armoured personnel carriers were on show, which captured the attention of people considering a career in Defence.
Sergeant Megan Polatos, of Headquarters Australian Army Cadets, said it was a huge day for cadets in attendance, and she hoped the opportunity to get a closer look at equipment and speak to soldiers would be an educational experience.
“They can put everything they are learning in cadets into perspective, and think about how that would work in the Australian Defence Force or in a different career later in life,” she said.
“They absolutely loved it and got involved by getting on the equipment and asking a lot of questions, so it was great.”
The event ended with fireworks and a performance by the Australian Army Band, with songs including Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush and Dance Monkey by Tones and I.