Aussies and French tackle Tully on Regional Warfighter

Jungle conditions and wet weather challenged soldiers from 8th/9th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (8/9RAR) and the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) on Exercise Regional Warfighter.

CAPTIONAn Australian Army soldier from the 8th/9th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, helps clear a village during Exercise Regional Warfighter in Tully, Queensland. Story by Captain Cody Tsaousis. Photos by Private Alfred Stauder.

Members from Combat Team Alpha 8/9RAR and the FANC completed training serials including coordinated strikes, ambushes and non-combatant evacuation operations at the Tully Training Area in March.

Officer Commanding Combat Team Alpha Major Jake Smith-Wright said conditions were difficult, with significant rainfall blanketing the jungle training area throughout much of the three-week period.

 

“The jungle is a challenging place to operate in, however, we are here to teach the soldiers to thrive in that environment,” he said.

“It was particularly wet in the first few days, which saw everyone understand the importance of how to set up their kit and equipment, as well as being in the right mindset when they come into this type of terrain.

CAPTIONAustralian Army soldiers conduct a casualty evacuation during Exercise Regional Warfighter.

“It’s been a very challenging environment but we find that brings the soldiers together.”

On top of building resilience, the training was valuable to the soldiers ahead of larger exercises later in the year, such as the combined arms training activity.

Training with the FANC was beneficial to learn how to achieve shared objectives.

“It’s a unique opportunity to learn in an environment that you’re not used to, while also developing a relationship with another force,” Major Smith-Wright said.

“It’s a great chance to exchange some knowledge with the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia, and work hand in hand with them to achieve a shared outcome.

“There’s so much value in conducting exercises with inserts from other forces, especially those who are in close proximity to us.”

The exercise finished with a physical training challenge, which involved running, completing an obstacle course and an uphill stores carry.

CAPTIONAn Australian Army soldier participates in jungle training during Exercise Regional Warfighter at Tully Training Area.


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