Home' Army News : July 13th 2017 Contents July 13, 2017
Behind the scenes
ASK Group Taji (TGT) 4
(1 Armd Regt) recently con-
ducted its relief-in-place
(RIP) with TGT5 (3RAR) in
Supporting the movements of
personnel and cargo into, out of and
around theatre are a number of key
agencies: Joint Movement Control
Office (JMCO) – MER, Reception,
Staging and Onwards (RSO)
Movements, and the Force Insertion
and Extraction Group (FIEG).
JMCO staff enable the movement
of ADF personnel and cargo from
Australia, then forward into theatre
and back home at the other end.
The staff of RSO ensure person-
nel entering the region are aware of
their responsibilities throughout their
deployment, and conduct training in
areas like first aid and weapons.
The FIEG, currently drawn mostly
from 3 Bde, acts as the liaison between
3RAR and deployed elements to sup-
plement the Force Support Element
and RSO and ensure the incoming
unit’s logistics needs are met.
Joint Movement Control
Office – Movement Control
Detachment Gulf States
The “movers” from JMCO are gen-
erally the first and last people incom-
ing and outgoing personnel see at
Australia’s main operating base in the
They are the people who welcome
personnel at the sustainment flight,
then see them off on their flights
around the operational theatre.
Troop Commander Movement
Control Detachment Gulf States
Flg-Off Josh James said the small team
comprised nine Army and Air Force
personnel split into two sections –
Charter Air and Service Air.
“Our Charter Air section handles
the sustainment flight, moving person-
nel into and out of theatre for leave,
conditions of service and duty moves,
while the Service Air section han-
dles moving personnel intra-theatre,”
Flg-Off James said.
“When a task-group relief-in-place
comes through, our usual processes
get blown out due to the large num-
ber of personnel and cargo we have
to deal with. We start dealing with the
RSO, FSE and FIEG early to make
sure we’re all on the same page before
the main body arrives.”
The movement planning for a
major relief-in-place begins about three
months before anything moves into
theatre, with liaison occurring between
HQJOC and 1 Joint Mov Gp.
“We start to get solid information
about four weeks out from the move-
ment date, which is when my team
comes together with the other key
stakeholders,” Flg-Off James said.
Charter Air section commander Cpl
Scott Sullivan said there were a “mil-
lion different cogs” working within his
“We have a busy job, which always
makes the days go quickly,” he said.
“When we have a relief-in-place
coming through from an unscheduled
location, we can deviate the flight
“For TGT5’s rotation, which came
from 3 Bde, we added Townsville
into the flight to save the entire group
flying somewhere else before they
On the Service Air side, hav-
ing someone who “speaks RAAF” in
the section ensures everything runs
Service Air section commander Cpl
George Marshall (Air Force) said his
section helped to plan, facilitate and
execute the movements of service air-
craft throughout the MER.
“We essentially interact with every
unit at Australia’s main operating base,
including RSO, FIEG, FSE, visa coor-
dination, air load teams and everyone
else who’s involved with aircraft,” he
“It makes for some long days – we
work around the clock due to the air-
“When a relief-in-place comes
through, it means a lot more planning
to ensure the logistics line up and per-
sonnel and their cargo can be moved
into theatre in line with the timeframe
we are given.”
Reception, Staging and
The second stop for ADF personnel
deploying to the MER is RSO, where
the lessons they are taught during the
Force Preparation Course (FPC) in
Australia are reinforced.
The RSO team at Australia’s main
operating base consists of two people
from 39OSB in Sydney.
“Our training reinforces what has
already been taught during formed
body and individual training,” RSO
Coordinator Sgt Sean Seery said.
“We’re aware that individuals are
already trained for their deployment
so, rather than repeat what they already
know, we deliver relevant and realistic
training with reinforcement, not repeti-
“We reinforce a variety of subjects,
including medical training, explosive
hazards survival, counter-intelligence
and psychological support, as well as
social media awareness.
“We also run a range package that
lets members test fire and zero their
weapons. This is complemented by a
JTF633-directed diagnostic evaluation
of their pistol-handling techniques, to
demonstrate their weapon-handling
skill before insertion into theatre.”
While RSO staff are used to deal-
ing with a large number of person-
nel on a regular basis, the influx of a
large formed body, combined with the
weather of a Middle Eastern summer,
made for some scheduling changes.
“The number of personnel coming
in during a relief-in-place differs dra-
matically from a typical RSO week,”
Sgt Seery said.
“For TGT5, we split the course into
two separate concurrent courses with
some early starts. This allowed all of
the outdoor activities to be completed
earlier in the day, while it was cooler,
rather than in the midday heat.
“The camaraderie and cohesion of
TGT5 was a pleasure to witness.”
Force Insertion and
When you look at a relief-in-place
of more than 300 personnel, plus their
cargo, 18 additional logistics staff may
not seem like a large amount but, with
a bit of planning, they can make a big
The current iteration of the FIEG is
drawn from 3CSSB, with supplemen-
tary personnel from 17 CSS Bde and
other units across Army.
The ‘changing of the guard’ of a task
group is notable, but often the efforts
of logistics staff who work behind the
scenes are not fully recognised,
Cpl Sebastian Beurich reports.
As the current OC FIEG Capt
Andrew Nguyen explains, drawing the
unit from the “RIPing” unit’s brigade
allows it to have representation in the
logistics portion of the operation.
“Generally, the logistic element
of the brigade has the subject matter
expertise when it comes to knowing
what the particular unit and the brigade
headquarters wants followed in coun-
try,” Capt Nguyen said.
“Also, the fact we’re all located
within the same area allows us to
build working relationships before we
3CSSB’s motto is “to fight, sup-
port and enable” and, while they might
not be fighting, they are supporting
and enabling both the incoming and
outgoing task groups, along with the
logistics units at Australia’s main oper-
“We assisted in bringing in TGT5’s
weapons, body armour and other mis-
sion-specific items,” Capt Nguyen said.
“We provided a specialist range
team to supplement the RSO package,
and allowed the shooting continuum
to be conducted in a shorter period of
time. We have a pretty unique situation
in that the EF88 has only recently been
introduced into service, and 3RAR is
the first unit to bring the weapons into
“We also brought 3RAR’s move-
ments operator who is the link between
TGT5, 3RAR and JMCO – MER.
“The positive relationship he pro-
vides is pretty valuable. It has allowed
some of our cargo to be moved into
One of the range supervisors, Cpl
Jarrod Bailey, sees the humour in a
“truckie” running ranges for infantry
“I don’t know how I ended up on
the range team for this FIEG with a
RAEME lieutenant and corporal,” he
“Our mission was to support 3RAR
as it completed the RSO process. If
they wanted to do different shoots out-
side of zeroing – combat shooting for
example – we provided assistance.
“The RSO team have been here for
a while, so we’re following their lead.
They know what’s happening and are
full of knowledge and wisdom about
how ranges are run here.”
On the other side of the FIEG, Pte
Daniel Blair is one of the storemen
who prepared all of the gear for TGT5
before soldiers arrived in theatre.
“We come under the banner of
FSE, but we’re a more independent
organisation,” he said.
“We took advantage of the FSE’s
experience in issuing operational
equipment, such as the CBRN (chemi-
cal, biological, radiological and nucle-
ar) gear and the operational plates, to
change how we work and make it a bit
quicker for the guys coming through.
“There’s so much experience here
in theatre – you learn something new
every day. It’s definitely good to put
all of the things I’ve heard about into
practice. At home I’m issuing note-
books and pens, whereas over here
I’m issuing plates, weapons and live
Above: Pte Emma Rose, of JMCO Movement Control Detachment Gulf States, counts personnel as they
board a flight at Australia’s main operating base in the Middle East Region. Inset: Cpl Scott Sullivan, of JMCO
Movement Control Detachment Gulf States, processes movements paperwork.
Cpl Gabrielle Collins, of Force Insertion and
Extraction Group, issues equipment to a
Task Group Taji 5 soldier at Australia’s main
operating base in the Middle East Region.
Photos: Cpl Sebastian Beurich
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