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Army July 22, 2010
Exercise Rim of the Pacific
(RIMPAC) began on June 23
in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and
will finish on August 1. The
ADF's largest international
maritime exercise, RIMPAC
is celebrating its 22nd year
and is designed to hone skills
and test interoperability with
14 fellow Pacific Rim nations.
About 1200 ADF personnel
are participating in the five-
week exercise -- with more
than 130 soldiers from 2RAR
joining them this year.
THE Australian Army's
involvement in the Rim of the
Pacific exercise (RIMPAC
2010) entered a new phase
as members of B Coy 2RAR,
prepared for sea.
On a hot Hawaii morning,
the diggers marched up the
gangway of the US Navy troop
ship USS Cleveland, carrying
weapons and kit they would
be needing for the amphibious
stage of the exercise.
More than 130 soldiers from
2RAR are at RIMPAC this year.
The soldiers will participate
in beach landings, mass casualty
evacuation drills, live fire and
helicopter familiarisation drills.
OC B Coy Maj Mick
Buchannan said his men had
worked hard to adapt to the way
their American hosts did things.
"That was a key tenant to our
early training" Maj Buchannan
said. "It was critical for us to
standardise our SOPs."
About 90 Australians and
one platoon of US marines are
on the Cleveland.
Two US marine corps pla-
toons and one Australian Army
platoon are embarking on the
giant US amphibious carrier
USS Bon Homme Richard.
"This is interoperability at
its most important level," Maj
Commander of the ADF's
contingent at RIMPAC Cdre
Stuart Mayer visited Australian
contingents based at the Marine
Corps Base in Kaneohe Bay
shortly before they deployed
for the amphibious phase of the
In an informal address to
By Sgt Dave Morley
SIX Pilbara Regt soldiers recently
completed a gruelling 12-day Powered
Tactical Craft Operators (F-470 Zodiac)
course at Karratha's Taylor Barracks
and around the Dampier archipelago.
Course manager Sgt Peter Stone said
the overall performance of the trainees
"They had a few problems on the nav
side, mostly with the terminology switch-
ing from land to marine navigation," he
"The course was full on for two weeks
-- they didn't get much rest.
"But the students were very good. It
was a very mature course with the average
age of the trainees over 30."
Sgt Stone said the instructors' depth
of knowledge was very extensive. "The
trainees are now ready for Op Resolute
tasking," he said.
"We've had a shortage of boat opera-
tors so these blokes will fill a gap."
Maj Alan Williams, OC Pilbara Regt
Trg Spt Sqn, said the course had some
very good outcomes.
"The course gave the guys an oppor-
tunity to operate the craft in a variety of
conditions," he said.
"The guys were all keen and enthusias-
tic throughout and we had a good mix of
very experienced instructors."
Pte Geoff Ellis, a Perth police inspec-
tor, said he'd been trying to get on a boat
course for two years.
"It's a very sought-after course and
was one of the best courses I've ever done.
It would be hard to pick a hole in it," he
said. "It was interesting to see what a
Zodiac can do, especially with all the gear
we have to carry in it.
"Being off the coast at night, in the
middle of the ocean, completely flat and
doing 18 knots was great."
Pte Ellis said different aspects of the
course would also be beneficial to his
"It's good to brush up on things like
nav and tidal movements," he said.
The course comprised four days theory,
three days small-craft handling and five
days tactical water operations.
The tactical water ops training includ-
ed day/night water navigation and two full
mission practice serials, including tactics,
techniques and procedures.
Honing their craft
Over she goes: WO2 Paul
Eyears, front, and Pte Jeff
Ellis practise capsize drills
Photo by LCpl Evan McMahon
On the move: Soldiers
take to the craft to practise
formation movements (left).
Photo by Pte Jeff Ellis
B Coy finds
its sea legs
2RAR soldiers, Cdre Mayer
urged the diggers to embrace the
experience they were about to
share with US forces.
"RIMPAC is much more
than a Navy exercise and the
ADF has gone to a lot of effort
to ensure all three services gain
the advantage of working with
our exercise partners, including,
in your case, the US marines,"
Cdre Mayer said.
"This is an exciting opportu-
nity to exercise as a joint task-
force where all three services of
the ADF are employed in com-
plex environments that range
from security tasking to high
end war fighting."
Cdre Mayer urged the dig-
gers to not only benefit from
the RIMPAC experience, but to
provide feedback through their
chain of command.
"2RAR is in the prime posi-
tion to be our experience collec-
tors and it is important to build
on this over the next few years."
Final words: Cdre Stuart Mayer addresses soldiers before
they embark on USS Cleveland.
Photo by AB Evan Murphy
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