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Army August 19, 2010
By Cpl Zenith King
AUSTRALIAN and New Zealand soldiers stepped
out of their comfort zone and onto a naval vessel
as they conducted amphibious beach landings from
HMAS Wewak onto Ranadi Beach, Honiara.
The soldiers, deployed with the Regional
Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI),
conducted a four-day activity from July 12-15 with the
Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).
The training gave the soldiers an opportunity to
practise embarking and disembarking vehicles from
the Landing Craft Heavy (LCH).
Tpr Jonathon Laird, 1/15RNSWR, said it was the
first time he had driven a vehicle onto LCH.
"When we first embarked the LCH there was a
possibility of getting bogged because the timber ramp
on the beach was not in the right position -- meaning
we had to drive on the sand," Tpr Laird said.
"However, when we came off the ship the ramp
was prepositioned, giving us a clean sweep up the
"It was definitely a learning curve but I found that
I was able to use my training to get me through the
Tpr Laird said that seeing an LCH on operations
was something completely new.
"When you think about everything that must have
happened to prepare for the activity, including the
geospatial surveys of the beach, the manoeuvring
of such a large vessel and driving onto the LCH it's
"Being able to see it all come together was great."
All soldiers involved in the amphibious training
were given familiarisation of the ship and safety briefs
before conducting the amphibious training at Ranadi's
maritime training school.
Lt Jay Hamilton, 2/1 Royal New Zealand Inf Regt,
said it was the first opportunity for New Zealand sol-
diers to conduct amphibious training.
"This definitely gives our soldiers an insight into
the capability of the ADF and shows us what other
options are out there to deploy a force at any given
notice," Lt Hamilton said.
The training was conducted as one of many capac-
ity-building exercises planned to occur over the next
few months with RAMSI and the RSIPF.
Reservists from the 5 Bde lead deployment
Operation Anode returned to Australia earlier this
Embarking on high seas
All aboard: Soldiers find their sea legs on HMAS
Wewak for amphibious beach landing training at
Ranadi Beach, Solomon Islands, (above) while New
Zealand Army and Participating Police Force (PPF)
personnel check the vehicles on HMAS Wewak
Photos by AB Jo Dilorenzo
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