Tanks and infantry combine in lethal team

Tanks and infantry fought side by side against a fictional enemy in a training activity that developed an efficient and lethal combined-arms team.

CAPTION: M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment conduct live firing during Exercise Capital OTP at Townsville Field Training Area. Story by Major Taylor Lynch. Photo by Corporal Brandon Grey.

M1A1 Abrams tanks from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2CAV) and mechanised infantry from the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), worked together in the field to hone their warfighting craft during Exercise Capital OTP.

Commanding Officer 3RAR Lieutenant Colonel Jack Westhorpe said the purpose of the training was threefold.

“The first is to prepare the team for operations, the second is to build confidence within the combined-arms team, particularly with 3RAR working alongside Abrams tanks,” Lieutenant Colonel Westhorpe said.

“The third is to prepare the force for Exercise Talisman Sabre, which will be a key coalition activity for the region.

“This team is consistently preparing for operations, and our role at the moment is to be the online ready battle group.

“We have a responsibility to hold contingency forces at notice on behalf of the Army and government, and this is a key component to achieving that.”

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CAPTION: Australian Army soldiers from 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment on patrol during Exercise Capital OTP. Photo by Lance Corporal Riley Blennerhassett.

Lieutenant Levi Ross, 2CAV, who led a tank troop as part of the exercise, said the M1A1 Abrams tanks offered unique advantages to soldiers on the battlefield.

“The primary purpose of the Abrams tank is to go forward and apply shock action and manoeuvre to break into enemy lines and achieve the momentum we need,” Lieutenant Ross said.

“Tanks provide a level of protection and lethality that no other system in land combat can achieve.

“A tank’s ability to manoeuvre, fire upon the enemy and close ground is something that’s unparalleled.”

Lieutenant Ross highlighted the process of building an effective combat team.

“We started with meet and greets, coming together for a number of lessons, face-to-face drills, enabling us to head out and work person-to-person and build the team through iterations of training,” he said.

“Then we integrated the two force elements, while carrying out repetition after repetition.

“Once you’ve built the drills into the minds of all the commanders on the battlefield, you can go forward and apply a level of flexibility to any problem you might encounter.

“The tank requires input from so many different people, and the crew of a tank becomes one of the most tight-knit teams you’re going to have in the Australian Defence Force.

“Once you’re working together, it’s the pinnacle of teamwork that I’ve experienced in my career.”


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CAPTION: Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, in an M113 armoured personnel carrier during Exercise Capital OTP at Townsville Field Training Area, Queensland. Photo by Trooper Dana Millington.







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4 thoughts on “Tanks and infantry combine in lethal team

  • 02/07/2023 at 8:14 pm

    Could the CONTACT folk create a “Lessons Learned” article starting with lessons learned by the Ukrainian military in the current conflict, for readers to follow.

    • 03/07/2023 at 5:54 pm

      Good idea Greg!

      The Editor’s not one for investigative Journalism, so as a Reader based ”Lessons Learned” study, I’m happy to help.

      I guess the main take-aways for Ukraine are,

      1/. Don’t get into an unwinnable War.

      2/. Don’t be used as a disposable Pawn in a Proxy War between Super Powers.

      3/. Don’t have a Sponsor who’s aim is to weaken your Adversary, as opposed to you achieving Victory.

      4/. Don’t pass Laws that forbid you from Negotiating Peace with your Adversary.

      5/. Don’t broadcast your Strategic, Tactical and Political plans to the Main stream Media.

      Really, it’s an endless list.
      For Ukraine this War is unnecessary, unwarranted, unwinnable, immoral and would be more aptly described as an organised Slaughter and a bloody stain on all who support it.

      I look forward to other Readers thoughts and suggestions on ”Lessons Learned” for the Ukraine Military.



  • 02/07/2023 at 5:28 pm

    I think the previous comment by DUTY FIRST raised many pertinent points. We are still playing games. You don’t see Ukrainian tanks rushing forward as the days of shock and awe with armour is finished for that one. The whole tatical landscape has changed, about time we did.

  • 28/06/2023 at 9:11 pm

    As a former 3 R.A.R. Digger I am flabbergasted to see Old Faithful and the Tankies still training for an old fashioned 20th Century War against a non-Peer Enemy using out of date, Equipment, Thinking, Training and Tactics.

    This level of training and equipment will ensure Australian Troops last as long against the Chinese P.L.A.,
    as the Ukrainian Volkssturm does against the Russian Federation.

    Just for a start, do we even know about Tactical and Operational E.W. or Drone Warfare, because the Russians and shortly the Chinese, are masters at it!

    The Russian Federation has proved that N.A.T.O. combined arms Warfare is last Century’s Strategy, and China is taking notes and cranking up the Worlds largest manufacturing base to suit for the coming Sino/American War (with Australian Forlorn Hope attached).

    We are currently so out of our depth at fighting a modern Military it would be criminal to send our Diggers into a ‘First World’ War.

    Neutrality for Australia.



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