Home' Army News : June 29th 2017 Contents Ta xAgent No.25382262
June 29, 2017
Forces strike at High Range
Multinational forces close in on the North Queensland
‘town’ of Line Creek Junction for Exercise Brolga Strike,
Maj Al Green reports.
US marines from Lima
Coy assault past burning
vehicles during the
overnight battle to clear
Line Creek Junction.
Photo: Maj Al Green
IGHT, noise, flames and smoke along
with fighters in the shadows cre-
ated realism during the overnight bat-
tle to clear Line Creek Junction during
3 Bde’s Exercise Brolga Strike.
The exercise marked the final test of capa-
bility in joint and combined warfighting before
Exercise Talisman Sabre, after which 3 Bde
will take on the role of Army’s Ready Combat
Brigade assigned to support Australia’s opera-
tional land force commitments and contingency
At first glance Line Creek Junction looks like
a small town, but it is actually an urban training
facility at the Townsville Field Training Area. It
was the setting for a complex attack during the
field training phase of Brolga Strike, bringing
together all the elements available to the brigade,
from military police dogs to a company of attached
US marines to an array of surveillance assets.
The first sign of the attack came from the buzz
of air surveillance overhead and sporadic fire from
the outer perimeter. Reconnaissance forces were
also active as real-time intelligence was fed back to
Earlier in the night, 2RAR’s Battle Group
Samichon defeated the “enemy” at the
“village” of Wadi El Cegi to secure the south-
ern flank. All were ready for something big
and it came around midnight when Line
Creek Junction lit up as the combined arms of
3 Bde concentrated their firepower to enable a
For those inside the town the scene was spec-
tacular – an M1A1 Abrams tank of 2 Cav Regt
forcing its way through the concrete barriers at the
town’s western entrance, eerily illuminated by the
light of a full moon.
Meanwhile, other armoured elements engaged
the enemy’s flanks, laying down withering fire to
enable the infantry and supporting combat engi-
neers to penetrate the weakening outer defence
1RAR’s Battle Group Coral and US marines
from Lima Coy then methodically took the “town”,
sector by sector, in a frenetic five-hour night battle
that saw victory with the dawn.
While the battle scenes appeared chaotic, the
fighting was well coordinated. Pte Denzell Kamal,
of 1RAR, was at the forefront of the attack. He
said the troops were aggressive, but in a controlled
“Right off the bat we were into it – everybody
knew what their tasks were and through good
coordination it all made sense. It went faster than
I expected,” Pte Kamal said. “We hit our report
line and the Americans advanced and took over the
attack to take the final objectives.”
It was a seamless and spectacular transition
as the marines punched past burning vehicles
and concrete barriers and out beyond the town to
secure the area forward.
The dawn gave visual clues to the nature of the
assault, with armour arrayed around the town and
engineers clearing final obstacles. It was obvious
no one worked in isolation and it was a combined
effort that won the day – a point CO 1RAR Lt-Col
Ben McLennan reinforced.
“This scenario and other actions during the
exercise are really testing us as a combined arms
battle group,” Lt-Col McLennan said.
“Every asset and specialisation on the
battlefield contributes and we saw it come together
“There is no tougher environment to fight in
than urban – it’s a good test of our readiness.”
The live-fire phase of the exercise followed.
Over three days Battle Group Coral (1RAR),
Battle Group Samichon (2RAR) and Battle
Group Eagle (2 Cav Regt) conducted successful
combined arms attacks.
On the final day, media and VIPs were on
hand to witness joint assets synchronised for
effect. Air Force PC9s marked targets before a
display of extreme accuracy and rapid fire was
achieved by the 155mm M777 Howitzers of
4 Regt RAA. Combat engineers then blew a mas-
sive breech in the defences, with direct fire from
armour and infantry finishing the “enemy”.
With 2500 soldiers and 500 vehicles in the
field, logistics played a significant role in main-
taining force effectiveness. To this end, 17 CSS
Bde worked with 3CSSB to place resources where
they were needed in a timely manner.
Commander 3 Bde Brig Chris Field said, given
the capability demonstrated on the exercise, the
formation was ready to move forward to the certi-
“While it has been a really challenging year
with a focus on cyclone response, readying troops
for overseas operations and ensuring we are ready
to respond to any contingency operational task,
our soldiers have worked hard together to reach the
standard required,” Brig Field said.
“Essentially we are a team of teams where
everybody has a role and steps up.
“I saw that happen here and I’m confident we
are ready to advance together into Talisman Sabre
and operations beyond.”
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