Combat in the outback

Standards were high as soldiers from South Australia’s 9th Brigade completed a major live-fire warfighting exercise at Cultana Training Area.

CAPTIONAustralian Army soldiers prepare to participate in a live-fire platoon attack at Cultana Training Area as part of 9th Brigade’s Exercise Rhino Run 2023. Story by Captain Adrienne Goode. Photos by Sergeant Peng Zhang.

9th Brigade units executed a number of complex live-fire manoeuvre ranges on Exercise Rhino Run before the culmination of a combined arms breach and assault through a trench system.

More than 400 members – from across 1st Armoured Regiment, 7th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment; 10th/27th Battalion, Royal South Australia Regiment (10/27RSAR); 144th Signal Squadron; 9th Combat Service Support Battalion and Headquarters 9th Brigade – participated in the exercise, from September 8-24.

Supporting the exercise were members from 3rd Health Battalion in Adelaide, and 8th Signal Regiment and 6th/13th Battery from the 2nd (Australian) Division.

One of the unique elements of the exercise was the integration of full-time and part-time personnel, which the Brigade’s Major Ryan Bell said presented a range of exciting challenges and opportunities.

“Exercise Rhino Run has been all about demonstrating our combined arms warfighting capability,” Major Bell said.

“Over the two-week period, full-time and part-time units from across the brigade completed a series of complex live-fire manoeuvre ranges to meet directed training levels and prepare the brigade for future operations.

“9th Brigade is integrated by design and it has been fantastic to see the total workforce out at Cultana being tested through realistic training in a physically demanding environment.”

It was the first brigade-level exercise for Private Jermaine Guglielmi, of 10/27RSAR, who was leading the charge through the trench system during the culminating activity.

“As the front man, I was looking straight down the barrel of the trench, seeing if there were any enemy targets,” Private Guglielmi said.

“Upon entering the trench system, the ASLAVs [Australian light armoured vehicles] did their mad minute, the tanks were firing, and the trenches were shaking; it was quite exciting.”

Commander 9th Brigade Brigadier Graham Goodwin was impressed with what the troops were able to achieve over the two weeks.

“It was impressive to see soldiers demonstrate such commitment to their training. Standards were high, with some on their first brigade-level exercise,” Brigadier Goodwin said.

“This exercise was an excellent opportunity for members to enhance their understanding of the various capabilities we have and collaborate with other units to achieve superior training outcomes.”


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