Soldiers experience ‘danger-close’ artillery

Soldiers from 1st Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, conducted live-fire training, including danger-close serials, as part of a combined-arms training activity at Shoalwater Bay Training Area this month.

CAPTION: Gunners from the 1st Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, fire an M777 Howitzer while taking up defensive firing positions, at Shoalwater Bay Training Area. Story by Captain Cody Tsaousis. Photo by Private Alfred Stauder.

The exercise enhanced soldiers’ ability to provide defence of the gun position with heavy weapons and small-arms engagements, conducting direct and indirect artillery fire while another battery was firing ‘danger close’ to within 360 metres of defending troops.

Commanding Officer of 1st Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Khalid El-Khaligi, said it was a hugely beneficial training experience for the soldiers.

“For us, this is our advanced live-fire training both in terms of small arms and gunnery,” he said.

“It’s a surreal feeling for the soldiers in the field – where another battery is firing ‘danger close’ to defend another gun line.

“Taking opportunity to let our soldiers experience this is a high watermark for advanced live-fire training.”

The opportunity to send live rounds down range and test multiple skill sets was an exciting prospect for the soldiers.

Bombardier Luke Del Borrello said the setting and requirements had a positive effect, with the batteries reaching a new level of focus and attention to detail in their work.

“We’ve done this type of training many times before using blank fire, but this is the first time for most of our soldiers that we’ve done it live,” he said.

“We also got ‘danger close’ dropped near us, which helps us reach new heights in terms of readiness and training.

“Using live rounds allows us to really switch on in terms of our weapons drills and muzzle awareness.

“You’re always conscious of it, but that really ramps up to another level when you’re using live rounds.”







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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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