Home' Army News : July 27th 2017 Contents 11
July 27, 2017
VIGILANCE was the key for
Norforce during the Northern Territory
component of Exercise Talisman
RFSU soldiers from four Norforce
squadrons joined with Australian and US
Special Forces to be the eyes and ears of
the bilateral exercise at Mount Bundey
They supported 5RAR and the
Marine Rotational Force – Darwin as
they conducted airborne insertions and
patrolled to contact in the mid-intensity
high-end war fighting activity.
OC Kimberley Sqn Maj Chris
McGlashan said the RFSU soldiers
played the role of an unconventional
Indigenous partnering force.
“The RFSU soldiers, who normally
have a surveillance and reconnaissance
role in remote areas, were trained in
more foundation warfighting skills, or
infantry minor tactics, for the exercise,”
“They took to the challenge with
enthusiasm and were responsive to the
“The trainers found the integrated
unit of Indigenous and non-Indigenous
reservists and full-time soldiers easy to
work with and they had a high level of
Norforce is a unique capability in the
Army because it employs soldiers from
its own area of operations to draw on
their local knowledge.
RFSUs are also unique because,
along with Special Forces, they are some
of the only units to regularly conduct
operations on Australian soil.
Maj McGlashan said the
Norforce soldiers on Field Training
Exercise – North (FTX-N) were drawn
from the Centre, Darwin, Arnhem and
“We deployed many of our junior
members to give them this training expe-
rience,” he said.
“Apart from doing their normal role
as sensors within the intelligence, sur-
veillance and reconnaissance capability,
they were up-skilled to participate on
the periphery of Special Forces raids and
“Norforce was borne out of Special
Forces and originally conceived in the
late 1970s by Special Air Service Regt
before being raised in 1981.
“It is interesting because during
FTX-N they were operating with the
same forces from which they were con-
ceived, in a unique and unconventional
Aboriginal soldiers form 60 per
cent of Norforce personnel, which has
resulted in trust for the regiment among
Aboriginal communities of the Top End
and Kimberley region.
Pte Corben Clyden, of Kimberley
Sqn, is from the West Kimberley region
and a Norforce scout.
Pte Clyden said he enjoyed the Army
lifestyle and the opportunities to learn
“The training on FTX-N was different
from our normal Norforce role and we
learnt new ways to conduct surveillance
and report on enemy activities,” he said.
“I have especially enjoyed the night
patrols and looking for the enemy
Pte Clyden said it was important to
him to be a member of Norforce as an
“It is an opportunity for me to be a
role model for the younger generation
and show them the experiences Army
can offer as a soldier within an RFSU,”
“I also get to use my traditional skills
to track people or find water and food.
“When I am working in my local
communities I can also use my contacts
from Aborigine to Aborigine – to find
out more information for Norforce.”
Pte Shane Darling, of Darwin Sqn,
has been with the RFSU for almost 10
years. Pte Darling said FTX-N was an
eye-opening experience with excellent
“I would like to do more of this as
we learnt skills we don’t normally learn
with RFSU,” he said.
“It is always good to rehearse the
Norforce roles. We are always learning
from each other and teaching each other
bush survival skills.”
Pte Darling said he worked closely
with the patrol commander to help with
navigation and was also responsible for
the administration of the team.
“I enjoy the culture of Norforce and
the integration we have with other units,”
“As an Indigenous Australian soldier,
friends, family and the next generation
of RFSU soldiers.”
Drawing on local knowledge
MILITARY Police (MP) from the Australian Army
and the US Army worked together during Exercise
Talisman Sabre at the Mount Bundey Training Area.
Eight US Army MPs joined a rotational crew of
soldiers who alternated between the training area and
Robertson Barracks, Darwin.
The MPs kept a presence at the barracks with day
and night patrols while members of the brigade were
in the field.
Cpl Joseph Joyce of the Domestic Policing
Unit – Darwin said the main role of the MP team dur-
ing the exercise was incident response.
“If there were incidents at the range, our respon-
sibilities included ensuring the scene was safe and
people were attended to before cordoning off the area
for investigators from the ADF Investigative Service
or the Northern Territory Police,” he said.
“Within the team the US Army MPs were respon-
sible for looking after incidents involving the US
Marines and we would do the same for the Australian
“It was great opportunity for us to learn about the
niche capabilities of the US Army MPs and what they
can deal with in their roles.”
Cpl Joyce said Australian MPs were essentially
“jacks of all trades” with multiple roles while the US
specialised in their roles such as traffic cops, security
“It has been great to learn about the subtle dif-
ferences between our MP cultures, terminology and
procedures,” he said.
Sgt William Burgess, of the US Army’s 552 MP
Coy, said the partnership with the Australian MPs
was a great way to learn from each other.
“Australian MPs use a lot less force than us.
They do a lot more talking to deal with someone and
an issue. We try to do the same, but we carry more
weapons for self defence.
“Many things the Australian Army does are the
same as what we do; it is just different names and dif-
ferent ways to get the same result.”
Long arm of military law reaches Mount Bundey
Cpl Joseph Joyce, of the Domestic Policing Unit – Darwin, Australian Army, discusses his policing role
with Sgts William Burgess and Matthew Landford of the 552 MP Coy, US Army.
Pte Corben Clyden, of Norforce, Kimberley Sqn, rehearses patrolling techniques at Mount Bundey Training Area.
5RAR soldier Pte Luke
Sutton provides cover
for his section during
a dawn battalion attack
on the urban operations
training facility at Mount
Bundey Training Area.
Photos: Cpl Mark Doran
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