Home' Army News : October 15th 2009 Contents TRAINING 25
Army October 15, 2009
By Capt Elissa-Jane Bowden
THE Hydrographic Survey Team from the Littoral
and Riverine Survey Squadron (LRSS) had a key
role during Exercise Olgeta Warrior.
The LRSS team of nine reservists from the special-
ist squadron within 21 Const Regt acted as amphibious
pathfinders for an "over the beach" landing of a full
joint task force.
The Hydrographic Survey Team conducted rapid
environmental assessments and detailed surveys of
three areas, providing essential geospatial information
of the land and water to the task force commander.
During the planning phase, it was identified that
LRSS could provide a significant risk mitigation meas-
ure and was vital to the conduct of the exercise in find-
ing a safe and suitable landing area for the personnel
and extensive equipment on the exercise.
Some of the risks LRSS were able to mitigate were
to survey coral reefs stretching up to half a kilome-
tre out to sea, irregular sea floor topography and the
ever present danger
of stray sea mines,
long forgotten from
when the bay was
heavily mined dur-
ing World War II to
prevent exactly such
a seaborne invasion.
the squadron had
focused on deliber-
ate surveys conduct-
ed well ahead of the
Olgeta Warrior, the
team deployed with
the amphibious task
group and conduct-
ed the rapid survey
in real time, which
tested the squadron's
capacity to be inte-
grated into the war-fighting team and contend with the
tight timeframes and commanders and troops eager to
LRSS worked together with the Navy's Deployable
Geospatial Support Team (DGST) by providing early
surveys while the DGST was deployed from HMAS
Kanimbla in the survey of other PNG locations during
CO 3CER Lt-Col Rupert Hoskin and Commander
Forcom Maj-Gen David Morrison inspected the LRSS
Hydrographic Survey Team and their inshore survey
vessel, the Black Swan, during the exercise to learn
more about this little known capability, which is unique
"They were enthusiastic and very impressed with
our efforts, both the quality and timeliness of the
products, as well as our professionalism," said Senior
Surveyor Sgt Tony Baker.
"We all had great grubby grins on our faces."
Sgt Baker completed the Navy's six-month H2
Hydrographic Surveying course last year. In a series
of firsts, Sgt Baker was the first Army student, the
first reservist and the only NCO on the course and he
received the Stewart Memorial Prize for ability, leader-
ship and dedication.
The involvement of LRSS in Exercise Olgeta
Warrior came out of a presentation to the RAE Corps
Conference by OC LRSS Maj Zac Zaharias.
"A lot of people were surprised that the amphibi-
ous pathfinding capability existed in the Army," Maj
Zaharias said. "The squadron's ability to conduct sur-
veys and provide engineer advice ... to support point-
of-entry and logistic over-the-shore operations, is cru-
cial to the joint operations environment."
Award: Maj-Gen David
Morrison presents a plaque
to Capt Gerry Mendon,
LRSS, for the team's
Vital mission: Members from the Hydrographic Survey Team leaving Motupore Island, PNG, on route to survey Tahira amphibious
landing site during Exercise Olgeta Warrior.
Photos by Capt Gerry Mendon
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