Home' Army News : July 27th 2017 Contents Getting troops and vehicles to Shoalwater
Bay took months of precise planning,
Flg-Off Thomas McCoy reports.
T WAS a massive undertaking
that took months of planning,
but on July 10 the painstaking
preparation paid off as the trans-
fer of equipment and troops from
Lavarack Barracks in Townsville to
the Shoalwater Bay Training Area
near Rockhampton moved into high
Long before dawn, rows of Army
vehicles were neatly lined up on the
3RAR parade ground, loaded with
equipment and soldiers, ready to break
into convoys that would transport eve-
rything needed for Exercise Talisman
To the sound of engines and the
smell of diesel fuel, “packets” of up to
10 vehicles at a time departed for the
Bruce Highway at 15-minute intervals
as directed by the releasing officer,
WO2 Luke Conolly, of 3CSSB.
“The vehicles in each packet are
numbered and arranged in priority
order, which helps us manage things
in a controlled way when they arrive at
the other end,” WO2 Conolly said.
“Although trying to group all the
stuff together is difficult and takes
many hours, we need the right capa-
bilities in the right order so they’ll
be in the right sequence for tactical
deployment to the field.”
In the packets there was a broad
range of vehicle types includ-
ing G-Wagons, Land Rovers, Mack
trucks, Unimogs, Bushmasters, 8- and
20-tonne plant trailers, recovery and
When they hit the highway, the
convoys drove with a separation of
around 10m between vehicles to allow
civilian cars enough space to get ahead
of the convoys if needed. The schedul-
ing of the convoys was also arranged
so as to cause minimal disruption to
people travelling to school or work.
“We know how frustrating large
convoys can be to the public, so we
did everything possible to minimise
frustration,” WO2 Conolly said.
To avoid driver fatigue, the con-
voys took an overnight break halfway
through their journey, the soldiers
were fed and rested as vehicles were
refuelled and any defects repaired.
Accompanying the Lavarack
Barracks contingent were several vehi-
cles from the New Zealand Army.
For Pte Aaron Le Jeune, of 2 Cav
Regt, the smooth running of the trip
south and participation in the exercise
were valuable learning experiences.
“The most exciting part was work-
ing with our multinational partners
and the support we provided to the
troops in keeping supply lines open,”
Pte Le Jeune said.
For WO2 Conolly, the smooth and
successful departure of the convoy was
a special occasion.
“To see it all come together makes
all the long hours and hard work
worthwhile,” he said.
Cpl Mark Doran
A TEAM of intelligence corps sol-
diers, who have just completed their
initial training, provided special-
ist intelligence support to Lt-Gen
Ash Power (retd) as members of
the dynamic scripting team dur-
ing Exercise Talisman Sabre 2017
Lt-Gen Power reprised his role
of CJOPS in a small HQJOC-like
headquarters at the Shoalwater Bay
Training Area in charge of the joint
task force deploying forces in the
maritime, air and land battlespaces to
counter the aggressors of the exercise
The role of the AUSTINT team
was to provide scripting to shape the
scenario for further analysis by the
joint task force and provide training
Pte Aaron Wattem, of 1 Int Bn,
said the four privates on the team went
through Kapooka, initial employment
training and Sub 4 Cpl together.
“We’d only been in the battalion
for two weeks before we went on
TS17, and our first exercise,” he said.
“It was a great introduction to the
Army and an excellent opportunity
to put our new intelligence skills into
“We provided daily intelligence
reports and summaries while produc-
ing combat intelligence products for
Pte Wattem said the biggest learn-
ing experience was adopting the
HQJOC attitude of strategic “big
hands” for appraisal of the big picture.
“It was good to see our work pre-
sented to Lt-Gen Power and having
conversations with him to find out
exactly what he wanted,” he said.
“The most challenging part was
working with Navy, Air Force and
“Even our military symbology is
worlds apart, so we all need to get
on the same playing field in order
to understand each other and work
together as a team.”
Lt-Gen Power said current opera-
tions were intelligence-led.
“We need to understand what the
adversary is, where they are, what
capabilities they have and we need to
overmatch them,” he said.
“If we are going to defeat an
enemy I like to use the analogy of
‘squashing a grape with a sledge
hammer’. I want to outnumber them,
I don’t want to put our people in
undue risk, but there is a mission to
be achieved, war is dirty business and
some people will become casualties.
“Great intelligence feeds can
focus our operations precisely and
Lt-Gen Power said TS17 was
important for the US and Australia to
reinforce their bond.
“It will also allow us to fix any dif-
ficulties, ensure our interoperability
and understand each other’s terminol-
ogy, capabilities, logic and doctrine,”
New intelligence talent put skills into practice
Smooth ride to training area
July 27, 2017
3 Bde soldiers prepare to leave Mackay
for the Shoalwater Bay Training Area
on the way to Exercise Talisman Sabre.
Photo: LS Jake Badior
Cfn Adam Hextall,
of 3CSSB, conducts
last minute checks
on a vehicle before
Photo: LS Jake Badior
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