Australian and United States artillery soldiers worked side-by-side operating M777 howitzers during 3rd Brigade’s annual combined live-fire activity.
CAPTION: Army soldiers from Australia’s 4th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, and United States’ 11th Field Artillery Regiment work together during a combined arms live-fire serial on Exercise Brolga Sprint 23 at the Townsville Field Training Area, Queensland. Story by Captain Joanne Leca. Photo by Lance Corporal Riley Blennerhassett.
Personnel from the 4th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, and the United States Army’s 11th Field Artillery Regiment built teamwork and cohesion during Exercise Brolga Sprint at the Townsville Field Training Area.
Bombardier Patrick Bartlett said it was great exposure being able to jump on the United States guns.
“It’s interesting seeing how other people do the same job,” Bombardier Bartlett said.
“The United States soldiers have seen us do missions and they now want to take some of our drills home.
“We’ve also learnt from their strengths, which is their deep technical knowledge of the M777 howitzer.
“There are slight differences in our drills and terminology, but we’ve achieved every mission, and to me that’s proof that we can operate with each other.
“Being able to operate each other’s gun takes a lot of trust. We have genuinely tested our ability to integrate personally and professionally.
“During the breaks, we’re cooking, trading patches and sharing stories to build that camaraderie.”
The gun line, comprising two Australian and two United States M777 howitzers, fired simultaneously at enemy targets about 10km away.
United States Army Sergeant Kenneth Krytus said the M777 howitzer was a versatile capability.
“If ever the time comes that the United States and Australia need to work together again, we now know we’ll understand each other and we’re ready for it,” he said.