Home' Army News : April 20th 2017 Contents April 20, 2017
‘Top shelf’ training tests all elements of
1RAR as the battalion prepares to come
online, Maj Al Green reports.
may have been cut short by
Tropical Cyclone Debbie,
but it still proved a chal-
lenging hit-out for the 800 troops
of the 1RAR Battle Group in
CO 1RAR Lt-Col Ben
McLennan says the warfighter exer-
cise was designed to thoroughly test
the training standards and readiness
of the men and women of the battle
“Given we will soon be entrusted
as Army’s largest, highest-readiness
contingency force, robust testing is
essential,” he says.
“Very few armies can deliver
such a high-end warfighting exer-
cise like our Army does. It is awe-
inspiring to be part of it.”
During the last two weeks in
March, the 1RAR Battle Group
was tested at all levels and across
all corps and functions in its ability
to fight a determined, professional,
free-play, peer enemy.
“It was a top-shelf training expe-
rience that allowed us to plan and
execute tactical actions at the micro
combat team, combat team and bat-
tle group levels, by day and night,”
Lt-Col McLennan says.
“It tested our training, the
employment of our state-of-the-art
equipment and our ability to work
as teams brought together at short
The soldiers and officers also
practised their ability to manoeuvre
a combined arms battle group via
APC, PMV and rotary wing plat-
Troops were able to test new
equipment, such as the EF88 and
its class-leading ancillaries, and
the Mk47 Light Weight Automatic
Grenade Launcher. Aspects of the
new combat service support con-
struct at brigade level were also
tested in a demanding, opposed
Commander 3 Bde Brig Chris
Field says 3 Bde units, like 1RAR,
are being proactive in making sure
their tactics, techniques, procedures,
troops and equipment are meeting
the required standard.
“We are moving confidently
forward and will achieve our rein-
forced combat brigade readiness
requirements by July to enable our
operations with Navy and Air Force,
coalition partners and other govern-
ment agencies on combined opera-
tions internationally,” he says.
“With a training, command and
control and interoperability focus,
the various exercises are helping to
prepare 3 Bde for Exercise Talisman
Sabre 17 – the major exercise that
will certify 3 Bde as the Ready
Combat Brigade (RCB) assigned to
support Australia’s operational land
force commitments and contingency
Supporting 3 Bde on this journey
are many units and specialists drawn
from other formations, including
Bde. The Queensland-based 11 Bde
and WA-based 13 Bde will form
Battle Group Cannan, which will
support 3 Bde from July as it takes
on the role of Australia’s RCB.
At the end of Silicon Brolga,
Lt-Col McLennan was all praise.
“Thanks to the extraordinary
efforts of the Combat Training
Centre, 3 Bde and other Forcomd
brigades, the 1RAR Battle Group
now knows, very clearly, what we
need to sustain, improve and fix
before our next joint land series
exercise and certification as the
Ready Battle Group,” he says.
1RAR on the road to ready
– Lt-Col Ben McLennan,
Pte Ryan Davies, of
B Coy, 1RAR, leads the
way up the stairs during
clearance of the Urban
Facility at the Townsville
Field Training Area.
Photos: Maj Al Green
A 3CER soldier mounts
a Bushmaster PMV
operations at the Urban
RSM 1RAR WO1 Michael
Reyne leads the way during
1RAR prepare to
fire an 84mm Carl
rifle as part of
Pte Joshua Frerk, of B Coy, 1RAR,
during clearance training.
THE 1 RAR Battle Group’s mis-
sion is simple: prepare soldiers and
teams for war.
As the Ready Battle Group
(RBG) designate, its success in
achieving this mission is routinely
tested through its ‘road to ready’.
This well-trodden path will lead
to certification of the 1RAR Battle
Group as the nation’s highest
readiness, largest, general purpose
contingency force on Exercise
Brolga Stike in June. It will form the
core of the nation’s first response
to a range of contingencies – its
‘thin blue line.’
“Linked to achieving the 1RAR
mission are three focal areas,” says
CO 1RAR Lt-Col Ben McLennan.
“The first is our centre of grav-
ity – trust. As the next RBG, 1RAR
must honour the trust invested by
our nation, our Army, our veter-
ans, our families and ourselves.
We must be trustworthy, in every
respect, all of the time.
“The second is our focus on
being better led, disciplined, trained
and equipped than any potential
“The third is that we need to
train, physically and mentally, to
be faster, more tenacious, more
lethal, harder to find, more cunning
and ‘own the night’ better than any
“Comprehensively preparing our
soldiers and teams for war, or any
other contingency, will demand all
of our focus, our energy – our all.”
AN ENDURING focus of 1RAR in 2017, which manifested
during the Combat Training Centre-sponsored Battle
Group Warfighter, Exercise Silicon Brolga, was learning
how to employ its state-of-the-art equipment to achieve a
competitive edge over a peer adversary.
“We do not want to have all of the gear, and no idea,”
says CO 1RAR Lt-Col Ben McLennan.
“Therefore, we are focusing our physical and intellectu-
al energy into finding out everything we can about our new
equipment, then leveraging this knowledge to enhance,
and potentially change, the way we operate and fight.”
Over the past 12 months, 1RAR has been issued
the new Soldier Combat Ensemble, been the lead-in
unit for EF88 and its world-leading ancillaries, has led
the introduction of the Mk47 Light Weight Automatic
Grenade Launcher and been the beneficiary of the Army
Modernisation Innovation Fund and Army Innovation Day
human performance and targetry initiatives.
“In the hands of expert operators, these platforms are
substantially enhancing the 1RAR Battle Group’s close-
combat capability,” Lt-Col McLennan says.
Over the coming 12 months, 1RAR will also likely
receive the enhanced Night Fighting Equipment, AMCU
and, potentially, small UAS and assault foot bridges.
“The pace of modernisation is both inspiring and unre-
lenting,” OC B Coy Maj Glenn Neilson says.
In addition to learning how to best employ and maintain
its equipment, 1RAR plans to ‘give back’ to Army – with
other units like the School of Infantry – by contributing to
training, standard operating procedure (SOP) and doctrine
Three examples of these initiatives, which were tested
on Silicon Brolga, include: the emerging fight light SOP;
support to combat shooting and the Military Shooting
Continuum development; a number of enhancing human/
physical performance innovations; and an SOP to reduce
personnel and equipment signature in the visual, near
infra-red and thermal spectra.
Prepared to give their all
Giving our troops the
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