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EXERCISE Olgeta Warrior 2009 can
boast of strengthened bonds and the
success of a unified command, but one
of its biggest achievements was the
unique cultural experiences it offered.
While taking part in traditional military train-
ing on the joint exercise with PNG, Australian
troops were also able to immerse themselves in
local culture, learn a whole new set of survival
techniques and build on trade skills.
The ADF and Papua New Guinea Defence
Force (PNGDF) worked together in a combined
battle group with maritime, aviation and land
forces from both countries, planning and con-
ducting a series of activities.
It provided training in line with Adaptive
Campaigning, with all force elements unified
to become Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF)
Commander 3 Bde Brig Stuart Smith said
he could not recall any exercise in recent years
that had run along the Adaptive Campaigning
"It was extremely impressive to watch these
soldiers, sailors and aircrew in action, conduct-
ing such a diversity of tasks within a CJTF set-
ting," he said.
"An exercise like Olgeta Warrior in our
region, with the sorts of regional forces we may
co-operate with, has been a wonderful hit-out
for 3 Bde as part of the amphibious task force."
He added that while troops had deployed
overseas on specific operations, they were exer-
cising for unforeseen contingency operations.
A high-density altitude rotary wing exercise
was held in Madang, in the PNG highlands,
with three Black Hawks operating from HMAS
A concurrent activity was staged on land,
where ADF and PNGDF engineers worked
together on engineering projects at Goldie
River training depot.
The ADF and PNGDF personnel also
trained together as Battle Group Wantok, cover-
ing infantry manoeuvre, live-fire ranges, jungle
training and amphibious lodgement.
Joint land combat and population protec-
tion exercises were built into the amphibious
Population support was integrated into the
exercise. These activities included engineering
works to enhance water supplies for local villag-
ers, medical assistance, health education and
gifts of sporting goods.
The exercise also received extensive cover-
age in the local media.
The PNGDF hosted an array of functions
and cultural activities, including visits and guid-
ed tours around Port Moresby and surrounding
Land Component Commander Lt-Col Rupert
Hoskin said it was important to allow his sol-
diers to properly soak up the PNG experience.
"It was terrific to see our people made so
welcome and to thoroughly enjoy themselves,"
Lt-Col Hoskin said. "I think this exercise really
opened many people's eyes to another culture
and the merit of seeing the world from a differ-
LCpl Chris Zamora, 2RAR Recon Patrol,
enjoyed learning jungle survival skills. "I found
the lessons in raft building, trapping and hunt-
ing very useful," he said.
Meanwhile, Spr John Wood, 3CER, rel-
ished the chance to rack up some experience
in carpentry and electrical work alongside the
PNGDF personnel. He now hoped to become
Working closely with PNG soldiers on patrol
was also valuable. Lt Marshall Lawrence,
2RAR, said "the PNGDF tactics, techniques
and procedures are similar to ours and the
patrols were able to integrate extremely well
Diversity was the word as Exercise Olgeta Warrior gave our
troops the chance to see the world from a new perspective.
Report: Capt Jessica Cordy Photos: AB James Whittle
n photo) and a crew member of the
nimbla; while personnel from Battle
ields of PNG (above), having been
mphibious phase of the exercise.
On the spot: Aircraft technician LCpl Jonathan Cochrane guides a crane operator
in positioning a rotor blade on a Black Hawk aboard HMAS Kanimbla (left);
and Australian soldiers lead their PNG counterparts ashore in PNG during the
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