Home' Army News : November 12th 2009 Contents 18 CENTREPIECE
THE floor of the building shudders
as the four 120mm main guns of
the Abrams begin an urban assault
with a volley of rounds that echo
through the buildings and fill the air with
US Marine Corps (USMC) infantrymen
swarm into the first buildings on the outskirts
of the village. They engage targets with their
This scene is not in Afghanistan or Iraq,
but at the USMC Air Ground Combat Centre
in 29 Palms, California.
The other unusual thing about this live-
fire urban assault exercise is the accents
coming from the tanks crews: the voices are
The live-fire exercise is the beginning of
Australian Armoured Corps soldiers' partici-
pation in Exercise Gold Eagle.
The deployment will conclude with a
divisional-strength exercise that will involve
nearly 100 Australians from 1 Armd Regt.
This is the third time the Australian tank-
ers will have participated in the exercise in
conjunction with USMC 1 Tank Btn.
CO 1 Armd Regt Lt-Col David Graham
says this year Gold Eagle involves an
Australian tank squadron conducting a recip-
rocal exchange with a US Marine Corps tank
"We have completed live-fire training
on an urban training range, with Marine
Corps infantry and our tank soldiers fighting
hand in hand," Lt Col Graham says. "This
has already demonstrated to me that the
Australian tank soldier is trained to an excel-
lent standard and is capable of operating with
one of our key allies."
Lt-Col Graham highlights the value of
exercises such as Gold Eagle and the oppor-
tunities they offer to compare Australian
Army skills and drills with those of our close
allies and partners.
"The exercise continues to show me that
our tank soldiers are world class and could
be deployed anywhere in the world," Lt-Col
The exercise will culminate in a divisional
live-fire exercise involving over 60 Abrams,
infantry, artillery and close air support.
DOING THE EAG
Aussie soldiers are having a blast in the desert with their US
Marine Corps counterparts, Capt Lachlan Simond reports.
Sharp eyes: Bdr Jason Walker and Bdr Benjamin Cook scan the expansive plain below their position for targets.
Ready for action: Lt Nicholas Hornbuckle in position on his Abrams before deploying into the field.
Photos by Capt Lachlan Simond Charged: An Abrams advances into the urban training range dur
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