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RAAF Globemaster supports Army mobility test

written by Hannah Dowling | July 28, 2022

Army and Air Force personnel have together tested their multi-domain mobility skills to improve readiness for a warfighting scenario.

Soldiers from 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (8/9RAR) have taken part in Exercise Air Shark — a training drill designed to ensure personnel are ready to deploy anywhere at short notice.

The Bravo Company platoon was deployed from Gallipoli Barracks, travelling in three protected mobility vehicles and a G-wagon before arriving at RAAF Base Amberley.

Upon arrival, the troops loaded all equipment onto a C-17A Globemaster transport aircraft bound for Toowoomba.

Lieutenant Julian Stolfo, a platoon commander with 8/9RAR, said the exercise provided personnel with an opportunity to demonstrate their agility in integrating with the RAAF.

“The exercise objective was to test our readiness and to gain an understanding of how to integrate with the RAAF for future tasking,” LT Stolfo said.

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“The ability to force project a platoon or combat team into any location is incredibly valuable to rehearse.

“It’s also important to understand the complex processes involved in deploying a platoon and it’s a great opportunity to conduct real time training.”

Exercise Air Shark is the latest of a number of Army exercises conducted over the past month.

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Infantry soldiers from the 3rd Brigade’s 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) recently conducted live fire anti-armour stalks using direct fire support weapons (DFSW) as part of Exercise Kapyong Warrior.

Held at the Townsville field training area, the exercise aimed to develop battalion and company-level skills ahead of a brigade warfighter activity.

Activities included an anti-armour stalk exercise to eliminate enemy targets, designed to move on foot in small teams, maintaining a low profile within the battlespace.

Australian Army combat arms officers also recently completed Exercise Gauntlet Strike — an officer training course held at Puckapunyal Military Area, designed to test the leadership capabilities of junior combat arms officers.

The exercise involved 268 Army personnel, with 154 junior officers participating in the week-long challenge.

The officers were tasked with completing a range of activities as part of a combat team, fighting against an opposition force.

Exercise Gauntlet Strike was the culmination of the Regimental Officer Basic Course for the Royal Australian Armoured Corps and for the Mechanised Regimental Officer Course — aimed at bolstering manoeuvring skills in Army’s armoured personnel carriers.

The participants are now qualified junior officers in their battalion or regiment, which form part of one of Army’s combat brigades.

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