It’s all a balancing act

Based in Bunbury, WA, Private Kyle Franklin, of 11/28 Battalion the Royal Western Australia Regiment, has fast-tracked his career in the Army Reserve through the new reserve accelerated training scheme (RATS).

CAPTION:Private Kyle Franklin poses with a Mark IV 84mm Carl Gustav recoilless rifle during a Direct Fire Support Weapons course at Singleton Military Area. Story by Captain Katy Manning. Photo by Coporal Michael Currie.

With a keen interest serving the public, Private Franklin decided to join the Army Reserve under the RATS program, which enabled him to be close to home and qualify as an infantryman quickly.

“I was signed up for six months, full time effectively, doing all my training to be fully qualified,” Private Franklin said.

“It gave me the flexibility that I really wanted; to have full-time employment and then supplement with the Army Reserve.”

Private Franklin said the training from the RATS program complemented his civilian career as a WA police officer.

“We do a lot of training in the depot with high-stress scenarios, using airsoft firearms for combat training. That training has been excellent,” he said.

“You learn to train while under pressure, where your adrenaline is up, so you can learn to make decisions in that high-stress state.”

Along with building mental resilience, the RATS program also includes training in field craft, first aid, fitness, navigation and combat shooting.

In September, Private Franklin became proficient on the Mark IV 84mm Carl Gustav, Javelin weapons system and the MAG 58 machine gun.

Over several days he learnt how to operate the MAG 58 in sustained fire.

“It is a very cool concept to be able to take predicted data and shoot things under sustained fire that you can’t see, which is something that through all of my training is drilled out of you. Normally you always need to see the target before you shoot,” Private Franklin said.

“All the shooting has been good fun, spending four or five days shooting the 84mm Carl Gustav, it’s been awesome.

“I am very glad that I joined the Army Reserve, because it is flexible and I am able to have full-time employment as well.”


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