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Army September 11, 2014
7 Pl champions of 7RAR
Soldiers test their military skills as 18 sections are put through their paces over a tough 48 hours of action
Cpl Aaron Curran
MORE than 200 personnel took
part in the demanding annual 7RAR
section competition at Murray
Bridge Training Area in South
Australia from August 14-22.
Held as part of Exercise Maroon
Tusk 2014, 18 sections were put
through their paces in a demanding
48 hours that tested their military
More than 50 personnel ran the
stands in support.
Soldiers from 7 Pl Manoeuvre
Support Section took out the cham-
pion section of the year with 1744
Cpl Slade Wilson, LCpl Stephen
Lockwood and Ptes Liam Everson,
Charles Oldham, Lucas Morgan, Jake
May and Riccardo Van Buschbach
made up the winning section.
2IC LCpl Lockwood attributed
the win to hard work and section
“The lads and I were pretty
shocked we’d won,” he said.
“They announced second place,
which was the other section from our
“I knew that we had to be close
to them because I based every task
we did during the comp on beating
LCpl Lockwood said the most
challenging part of the competition
was the last activity – the stores carry
of the mortar equipment.
“We’d pack marched at least 20km
over two days with extreme weights
on our shoulders,” he said.
“Those extra kilograms of weight
from the stores carry were definitely
the most painful.”
LCpl Lockwood said before the
competition they hadn’t spent much
time together as a section.
“We would have been lucky to
have been working together for more
than a month,” he said.
“It came down to the lads. They
had all been deployed together and
had previously worked together on
Advisory Task Force 2.
“Cpl Wilson and I worked together
in Kabul, so I had a fair idea how he
LCpl Lockwood said he was really
happy with their efforts.
“When they were hurting they
gripped themselves up, dug deep
and completed every task to a high
standard,” he said.
“You couldn’t ask for more than
their best, and they definitely gave it.”
Sgt John Smallacombe, of the
7RAR Training Cell, said the contest
was based on infantry minor tactics
and physical endurance.
“Three rifle companies came
down for the first stage of the compe-
tition, as well as an admin company,”
“Each rifle company had to put in
a minimum of four sections.”
Sgt Smallacombe said as part
of the first stage of the activity, a
BFA, swim test, military flotation
test, weapons test, obstacle course
and general military knowledge test
were conducted at Edinburgh Defence
Precinct before the transit to Murray
Bridge Training Area.
“Once there we had various stands
that were manned by different rifle
and support companies,” he said.
“There were challenges involving
a 1.5km run in fighting order, finish-
ing with a group and zero shoot and
section shoot, first aid, section attack,
PW handling, trailer push (with one
wheel), radio procedures, observation
and deduction, section harbours at
night and heavy weapons.”
Sgt Smallacombe said when the
sections harboured up at night it
didn’t end there – they were tested on
their drills throughout the night.
“The tempo was high, but right,”
“It ran well. There were no
negative comments and we received
Sgt Smallacombe said each sec-
tion was also assessed on their char-
acter and demeanour and how they
dealt with situations as a team.
“That is extremely important at a
section level,” he said.
“The competition has enabled us
to target areas for improvement.
“They were able do some things
they haven’t done in a while, like all
arms call for fire, judging distances
and section harbours.”
WO2 Jason Smith was the OIC of
the activity and was happy with the
“It provided the battalion with
several key areas of training to
concentrate on for the remainder of
2014 and 2015,” he said.
The winning section, from left,
Ptes Liam Everson, Charles
Oldham, Lucas Morgan,
Cpl Slade Wilson,
Ptes Jake May and Riccardo
Van Buschbach, and
LCpl Stephen Lockwood.
Photo by Cpl Colin Dadd
Sapper honoured in Gayndah
Cpl Mark Doran
THE entry to Gayndah’s RSL
complex has been dedicated in
memory of Spr Jacob “Snowy”
Moerland and named Jacob
Friends, family, RSL members
and soldiers gathered on August 6 to
open a new housing facility for war
veterans in the small Queensland
Spr Moerland’s mother Sandra
proudly unveiled the sign with
Gayndah RSL sub-branch secre-
tary and treasurer Craig Fothergill,
whose efforts ensured the construc-
tion of the six new independent
The units will provide accommo-
dation for veterans who may other-
wise struggle to find homes.
CO 2CER Lt-Col Matthew
Richardson was joined by a section
of combat engineers, a dog handler
and the RSM as he dedicated the
street to the 21-year-old soldier who
died in Afghanistan in 2010.
He said it was important for the
soldiers of 2CER to remain con-
nected to Spr Moerland’s family and
honour the fallen soldier’s memory
as Afghanistan veterans were
promoted and posted. “I didn’t have
to task any of the soldiers to attend
the ceremony at Gayndah, which
makes me extremely proud,”
Lt-Col Richardson said.
“They all wanted to go to support
the family and remember their mate
a couple of the guys even took
leave to be there.”
From left, Sandy Moerland, Lt-Col Matthew Richardson, Robert
Moerland, Terry Meehan, Laura Moerland and Craig Fothergill
open new RSL housing facilities dedicated to local soldier,
Spr Jacob Moerland.
Photo by Mike Knott, NewsMail
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