Armoured crews clash for cup

Cavalry and tank teams from across the Australian Army, and personnel from the United States Marine Corps, went head to head in the School of Armour’s annual Coral-Balmoral Cup at Puckapunyal, Victoria.

CAPTION: An Australian Army M1A1 Abrams main battle tank fires its 120mm cannon during a live-fire serial for the Coral-Balmoral Cup at Puckapunyal Military Area. Story by Captain Thomas Kaye. Photos by Corporal Johnny Huang.

Ten teams participated in a number of challenges in the competition last month, inspired by the battle of the same name – a significant event in the history of the corps – which is used to promote esprit de corps.

Commanding Officer School of Armour Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Shepherd said it was important to host the cup at the home ground of the corps.

“The significance of this particular competition is that this is our opportunity for all the regiments to compete and essentially see who is the best unit, based individually on the scores of the cavalry and tank crews,” he said.

CAPTIONAustralian Light Armoured Vehicles drive through the Puckapunyal Military Area.

Representing their units were 1st Armoured Regiment from 9th Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Regiment from 3rd Brigade, 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment Queensland Mounted Infantry from 7th Brigade and the School of Armour from Land Combat College, along with representation from the 1st Light Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion from the United States Marine Corps.

Tank crew commander Corporal Jordan Orr, of the 1st Armoured Regiment, which was awarded best overall cavalry crew, said his team did well.

“We had some good days and bad days, but overall we’re pretty happy,” he said.

Best overall tank crew was awarded to 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment Queensland Mounted Infantry and best overall unit was awarded to 2nd Cavalry Regiment.

Sergeant Tyler Willson, a United States Marine Corps crew commander, said it was cool to see other people on some of the same platforms and the way they did things.

“Definitely the gunnery was a key highlight from this cup; we outshot a lot of people, and it was just really fun,” he said.

“I would 100 per cent come back next year if I had the opportunity. A lot of good, different training, but altogether it’s been really fun.”

The School of Armour is the ancestral home of the Armoured Corps and is part of the newly formed Land Combat College.

The school continuously updates training programs to incorporate real-world applications to prepare personnel for the challenges they may face.

CAPTIONAustralian light armoured vehicles manoeuvre through the Puckapunyal Military Training Area.


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