The Direct Fire Support Weapons (DFSW) capability, including anti-armour weapons, has returned to the 2nd (Australian) Division after an absence of 20 years.
CAPTION: Australian Army soldiers from the 2nd (Australian) Division prepare their weapon posts for MAG 58 machine guns during a Direct Fire Support Weapons course in the Singleton Military Area during September 2023. Story by Major Jesse Robilliard. Photos by Private Sarah Fisher.
The home of the bulk of Army’s part-time units conducted a three-week DFSW course at Singleton Military Area in September.
Commanding Officer 4th/3rd Battalion, Royal New South Wales Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Hukins said soldiers received training on three main weapon systems.
“The soldiers on this course are provided with a very challenging and rich experience. They have been exposed to a series of new skills, capabilities and weapon systems,” Lieutenant Colonel Hukins said.
“This represents the first time that 2 Div is training soldiers on the Javelin weapon system.”
Soldiers also received training on the Mark IV 84 mm Carl Gustav and MAG 58 machine gun.
CAPTION: Private Ryan Busk (left), fires a MAG 58 machine gun while Lance Corporal Sean Tambinayagam provides link ammunition.
Lieutenant Colonel Hukins said the Singleton Military Area in the Hunter region was the ideal location to run the course for soldiers from across Australia.
“The ranges are purpose-designed to support us, as well as the fact the School of Infantry and the Tactics Wing here have a DFSW team,” Lieutenant Colonel Hukins said.
“That team has been integral in setting us up for success, as well as the instructors from across 2 Div.”
Soldiers became proficient using the MAG 58 for sustained fire.
Corporal Michael Sullivan, of 11th/28th Battalion, Royal Western Australian Regiment, was impressed with the capability it offered.
“We use a tripod and we can shoot out pretty far, close to its 800 metres maximum effective range,” Corporal Sullivan said.
“We can essentially use it as a support for larger manoeuvre forces, which you can’t really do in a normal rifle company.”
Lance Corporal Sean Tambinayagam, of 25th/49th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment, said the soldiers on course would take their recently gained expertise back to their home units.
“I’ll go back and spread my knowledge throughout the battalion, and hopefully get some more people interested in getting these qualifications,” Lance Corporal Tambinayagam said.
“Coming in and working as part of a team, it has been quite amazing. Especially as most of the guys on this course I haven’t met before, we built that capability very quickly.”
Corporal Sullivan was impressed with the number of rounds he and his fellow soldiers sent down range.
“I did not think we would be shooting as many 84 millimetre rockets or shooting as many rounds as we have in the last couple of days,” he said.
“This has been a real eye-opener; it has been really good – a lot of fun.”