Home' Army News : March 31st 2011 Contents TRAINING 25
Army March 31, 2011
By Hugh McKenzie
A NEW urban training complex,
modelled on an Afghan village, has
been built at Woomera including liv-
ing areas, animal shelters, a mock
creek, agricultural fields and wells.
"Bear Village" was designed and
built using the knowledge and ideas
of soldiers returning from operations
in Afghanistan and is accurate down
to replica donkey carts, a cemetery,
cooking areas, doors, bottles, rugs and
Construction over an 11-week
period used all facets of 6ESR's con-
struction capabilities, including plant
operators, carpenters, plumbers, electri-
cians, combat engineers and RAEME
elements. The design and construction
was undertaken by one of 6ESR's sub-
units, 17 Const Sqn.
Maj Ben White, Operations Officer
6ESR, said Woomera closely resem-
bled some of Afghanistan's terrain.
"Woomera Range provides excel-
lent freedom of movement for live-fire
activities and is perfect for the con-
duct of search, Weapons Intelligence
Team (WIT) and Explosive Ordnance
Disposal (EOD) predeployment exer-
cises for Op Slipper," he said.
"We originally requested to build
the complex on the range, but due to
some restrictions, it was constructed in
the Camp Rapier compound."
Maj White said the village worked
well, particularly for counter-IED capa-
bilities, and could be used for scenarios
and rehearsals before conducting live-
fire activities on the range.
Buildings in the village appear to be
rammed earth, but Maj White said mod-
ern construction techniques were used.
"It's actually besser block -- it's
extremely well engineered and con-
structed and will be an asset for the
ADF for years to come," he said.
The outside of the village was
machine-rendered by a contractor and
looks the way it does because the con-
struction team applied characteristic
Woomera dirt to the wet render, giving
the village a reddish brown appearance.
The village has already been put
through its paces during Exercise First
"This was the certification exercise
for search, WIT and EOD teams deploy-
ing to Op Slipper," Maj White said.
"The teams were very pleased with
the facility and everybody was very
happy with the challenges it offered to
the teams as they went through."
Replica: With assistance from Afghanistan veterans, Army engineers
accurately recreated an Afghan village on Woomera Range, including
common building styles and everyday items.
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