US forces join diggers on Brolga Sprint

United States Army units were invited to join Australia’s 3rd Brigade on its annual culminating live-fire activity at Townsville Field Training Area this month.

CAPTIONAn Australian Army soldier from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment after a combined arms live-fire serial on Exercise Brolga Sprint 23 at Townsville Field Training Area, Queensland. Story by Captain Joanne Leca. Photos by Lance Corporal Riley Blennerhassett.

Shortly after Exercise Talisman Sabre, units from the 3rd Brigade conducted Exercise Brolga Sprint with the United States 25th Infantry and 1st Armoured Divisions, during which infantry, armour, artillery and combat engineers worked together to achieve the mission.

Platforms involved in the exercise included ARH Tiger, M1A1 Abrams, M777 howitzers, 81-millimetre mortars, S AH-64 Apaches, M1A2 Abrams, UH-60 Black Hawks and CH-47 Chinooks.

Commanding Officer 4th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, Lieutenant Colonel David Silverstone, said this year’s exercise was adjusted to test the two allies’ ability to integrate.

CAPTIONAn Australian Army ARH Tiger from the 1st Aviation Regiment during a combined arms live-fire serial.

“We saw United States tanks integrated within an Australian tank squadron, our Tigers flying alongside the United States Apaches, and Australian and United States firing guns side by side,” Lieutenant Colonel Silverstone said.

“We’re learning about what we do differently, but most importantly we’re discovering the similarities between our nations.”

A major component of the exercise involved air mobility operations and air assault serials.

Sergeant Tyler Stewart, of the United States Air Force, is a Joint Terminal Attack Controller who embedded with Australian manoeuvre elements to de-conflict the battlespaces on the ground and in the air.

“The integration between air and ground elements is very important to ensure the exercise runs smoothly and safely,” Sergeant Stewart said.

“As we work together, we’re learning from one another, which is important to secure both our nations’ future endeavours.

“We’re working hard, but at the same time we’ve created a fun atmosphere, and it’s been a privilege to work alongside you all.”


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