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Army October 1, 2009
By Lt Rianna Coughlan
UNITS from 3 Bde returned to foun-
dation war-fighting skills and training
in their first brigade-level fire demon-
stration since the mid-1990s.
The combined-arms training activity
(CATA) was held at Townsville's High
Range from August 26 to September 4.
Commander 3 Bde Brig Stuart Smith
said the activity brought together infan-
try, protected mobility and artillery and
was "sewn together" with a good com-
munications plan and air support.
"We spent 10 days rehearsing our
foundation skills from detachment, sec-
tion, troop and platoon level in high-end
war fighting, live-fire artillery, live-fire
mortars, live-fire and heavy machine
guns," Brig Smith said.
"There was a particular focus on
foundation war-fighting to conduct
unforeseen and contingency tasks, which
is the role of 3 Bde."
It was a rare opportunity for the units
to exercise in a brigade setting with the
current operational tempo.
Brig Smith said CATA was a stepping
stone as part of a process of resetting and
readying for future deployments.
"We have a core of adaptable soldiers
who understand combined-arms fight-
ing," he said. "A nucleus of training has
started and a nucleus of experience is
He added the brigade would be in
a good position for continued training
when its remainder returned from speci-
fied operations early next year.
A demonstration of 3 Bde's firepower
marked the end of CATA.
The brigade firepower demonstration
proved how versatile, hard hitting and
ready the brigade was even with a sub-
stantial number of personnel deployed
Hundreds of 3 Bde members watched
as units from Townsville and Sydney
fired small arms, Minimis, grenade
launchers, heavy machine guns, snip-
er rifles, 66mm SRAAW, 84mm Carl
Gustaf, mortars, 105mm Hamel guns and
Bushmaster Remote Weapon Systems.
It was no surprise two Javelin mis-
siles received the biggest cheer as they
were launched and powered into the dry
hillside, exploding impressively.
Overhead, RAAF 38 Sqn flew three
Caribous in perfect formation, which
resupplied the battle group by parachute
box drop in a tactical air land operation.
Bde Major Maj James Hammett said
CATA prepared soldiers for a range of
"Operating with protected mobility
vehicles, operating with joint assets, the
delivery of logistics and the maintenance
of communications are common to all
theatres," Maj Hammett said.
"The conduct of activities relating to
conventional warfare, such as the live-
fire combined-arms attacks that were
executed by the ready battle group
remain fundamental to our core skills."
By Michael Brooke
EAGLE-eyed Black Hawk pilots
had a sweeping view of the Sydney
metropolis as part of training designed
to enhance their ability to operate in
complex urban terrain.
Flights of three to four Black Hawks
were a common sight during August
when pilots from 6 Avn Regt conducted
the training as part of a special flying
XO 6 Avn Regt Maj Paul Lewis said
the training ensured that newly arrived
aircrew gained the skill sets required to
operate as part of 6 Avn Regt.
"The training challenged the aircrew
to operate as a team and to conduct low-
altitude flying in a range of weather and
light conditions over Defence establish-
ments and major public venues in Sydney
as well as some in the Shoalhaven area,"
Maj Lewis said.
"The exercises centred around the
Sydney Football Stadium and Defence
Plaza on Pitt Street in the city to ensure
pilots are well trained in operating over
built-up areas and then also took them
to HMAS Waterhen on the harbour and
RAAF Base Richmond and Glenbrook in
the west," he said.
Maj Lewis said 6 Avn Regt conducts
such training three times a year and it
was crucial to developing the skill of
Black Hawk aircrews.
"We take experienced Black Hawk
pilots and aircrewmen and train them in
the art of operating in and around built-
up areas by day and by night."
3 Bde gets back to basics
Black Hawks swoop
on Sydney metro
Up and away: Two Black Hawks take off from Holsworthy Barracks.
Photo by Michael Brooke
Hot stuff: Gunners in action during the 3 Bde exercise at Townsville's High Range. Photo by Lt Rianna Coughlan
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