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By Maj John Liston
RIFLE Company Butterworth 87 (RCB
87) was involved in two weeks of rigorous
training at the Malaysian Army's combat
training ground near Johor Bahru in the
country's south recently.
The 120 reservists from 21 different units
across the country have been moulded into a
cohesive team for the three-month rotational
Contingent OC Maj Chris Lequaietermaine
said it was a challenging and rewarding expe-
rience for the soldiers.
"They have an opportunity to practise their
military skills in an area completely different
to Australia," Maj Lequaietermaine said.
At Pusat Latihan Tempur Tentara Darat
(PULADA), the company operates out of a
rudimentary compound but it provides the
soldiers with access to internet and canteen
They deploy daily from their camp to the
various ranges and training areas around the
With many soldiers from the contingent
coming from the service corps, part of the
training emphasised qualifications in infantry
section weapons and fieldcraft skills so that
all were able to serve as riflemen on an equal
footing with their infantry colleagues.
LCpl Matt Bannister was operating in an
infantry role like many other troops from com-
bat and combat-support corps.
"This has been an excellent opportunity to
develop soldier skills; commanding a section
within a jungle environment," LCpl Bannister
Pte Yvette Franklin, a cook, has not only
Jungle tactics in Malaysia
been whetting the appetite of her customers
with favourite dishes from home, she has taken
part in military training, recognition that in the
modern battlefield support troops require the
necessary combat skills to protect themselves.
Pte Franklin has qualified on the 9mm pistol
and F1 grenade.
"It's great being part of a new company,
meeting a group of people from different states
and working as a team in Malaysia to achieve
common objectives," Pte Franklin said.
One of the highlights of the deployment
so far has been the survival training provided
by the soldiers from the Malaysian Army's
Royal Ranger Regiment. The diggers learnt
how to start a fire, make traps and snares, and
find water in the jungle. Soldiers also had the
opportunity to try alternate cuisine including
snake and monkey.
The pace has been hectic but the deploy-
ment has opened up many opportunities.
Pte Marnie Ivan, a driver, said the experi-
ence had been great.
"My role as a driver was challenging and
getting to know people and working closely
with them can build friendships that last a life-
time," Pte Ivan said.
Sharp-eyed: Spr Jason Mascord, 8CER,
provides protection for his platoon as they move
through the Malaysian jungle (above).
Tough sprint: LBdr Samm Fowler, 7 Fd Bty,
leads his troops up a trail leading to the obstacle
course at the Malaysian Army's combat training
ground near Johor Bahru (left).
Army October 1, 2009
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