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August 10, 2017
XERCISE Talisman Sabre
was action-packed for the
members of Battle Group
Samichon as they dem-
onstrated Australia’s world-class
Contributing a large part of the pre-
landing force and acting as the ground
combat element of the Australian
Amphibious Force, the battle group
conducted an amphibious ready unit-
sized amphibious assault.
Inserting using a combination of
small boats, surface assault craft and
helicopters, BG Samichon made a near-
simultaneous battle group amphibious
assault to secure multiple objectives in
an uncertain security environment.
It was a significant milestone for
the ADF. After seizing the sea point of
disembarkation, the battle group then
moved into SWBTA and spent a short
time as the reserve force before heading
to the fight.
CO BG Samichon Lt-Col Doug
Pashley, of 2RAR, was proud of his
team shifting from joint amphibious
operations to joint land combat.
“As one of 3 Bde’s three main
manoeuvre battle groups our role was
to clear enemy forces from the area of
operations,” he said.
“As an infantry battalion we are
not always the most agile force, but in
concert with the Bushmasters attached
to us from 3CSSB as well as our own
and with some air mobile operations
we were able to generate some real
tempo to pursue challenging targets and
Lt-Col Pashley said one of the battle
group’s first missions was to clear the
key objective of the Raspberry Creek
urban operation training facility or the
village in the south.
“The enemy picture was unclear, but
we had assets available such as the US
AH-64 Apaches and Australian ARH
Tigers of Battle Group Pegasus which
could provide great situational aware-
ness,” he said.
“At long-range they could see what
was happening on the ground and
relay that to us or if need be engage the
enemy forces with direct fire.
“We also used the capabilities of
the Australian and US RQ-7B Shadow
200 and the US MQ-1C Gray Eagle
remotely piloted aircraft systems which
provided us with more indicators and
warnings of enemy activities.
Lt-Col Pashley said the battle group
moved quickly to seize Raspberry
Creek after identifying the enemy pres-
ence was not significant.
“The combat teams were exposed
to the challenges of a complex human
terrain with stakeholder requirements
and key leadership engagements along
with the sensitivities involved with civil-
ian casualties and the allegations of war
crimes,” he said.
“Our attached engineers needed to
deal with IEDs and we found a bomb fac-
tory which needed forensic exploitation.”
BG Samichon was the brigade’s
main effort for the final assault on what
turned out to be a well-prepared defen-
sive position with armour and troops
of 7RAR and the Washington National
Lt-Col Pashley said from when
the brigade issued the orders, BG
Samichon only had four-and-a -half
hours before stepping off for the dis-
mounted, all-night insertion.
“By the next morning we were
where we needed to be and ready for a
synchronised assault with the other two
battle groups,” he said.
“Our DFSW platoon carried their
.50 cal machine guns and ammuni-
tion all night to reach the support by
fire position through some incredibly
demanding vegetation and terrain.
During the assault on the main
defensive position B Coy discovered
dug-in armour so the MRF-D L Coy of
200 personnel was pushed forward with
their heavier firepower.
Lt-Col Pashley said it was a great
hit-out and a fantastic end to the suc-
“The boys and girls of 2RAR did
well and they rose to overcome what-
ever challenges were thrown at them to
get the job done,” he said.
“It was also fantastic to work
with our closest allies as it helped us
understand each other’s strengths and
weaknesses, as well as developing the
relationships that will be crucial to suc-
cess on operations.”
Lt-Col Pashley said Talisman Sabre
may be one of the last opportunities
2RAR had to deploy as BG Samichon.
“I’m incredibly proud of what the
members of the battle group achieved in
a short period of time,” he said.
“They can all hold their heads high,
knowing that through their deeds, they
have enhanced the reputation of BG
Samichon and made a valuable contri-
bution to exercise as a whole.”
From October 15, 2RAR will be a
part of the 1 Div’s Amphibious Task
Group. While the battalion will remain
at Lavarack Barracks it will no longer
be a part of the 3 Bde. Instead they
will become the division’s specialist
amphibious operations battalion and the
centre for amphibious operations exper-
tise for the broader Army.
A major milestone is reached as an entire battle group launches ashore, Cpl Mark Doran reports.
take part in the
final Battle Group
Photo: Cpl Mark Doran
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