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Army September 1, 2011
Fast movers certified
By LCpl Mark Doran
SOLDIERS from 1RAR proved
their ability to deploy quickly and
effectively when they made a short-
notice deployment to Shoalwater
Bay Training Area before Exercise
Talisman Sabre began.
Operation Barracuda was the
1RAR Ready Battlegroup Certification
Exercise held at the Shoalwater Bay
Training Area from July 6-15 and was
based on a short notice, quick deploy-
ment, security and stability operation.
The scenario of the operation had
the soldiers from Lavarack Barracks
dealing with displaced people, the res-
toration of law and order and popula-
Making use of the aircraft, surveil-
lance and other assets at Shoalwater
Bay for Exercise Talisman Sabre,
the battlegroup's main effort was at
the urban operations training facility
Combat Team Alpha made an air
mobile insertion to secure the UOTF
and give the local security forces
confidence. The team commenced a
patrolling regime with the locals and
started key leadership engagements.
Capt Alex Neve, 2IC A Coy 1RAR,
said the overall concept of the opera-
tion was to enable local forces to rein-
state their own security, allowing the
battlegroup to leave without the need
for a prolonged operation.
"The battlegroup came together
well, particularly at the combat team
level, and our support elements from
the other 3 Bde units assimilated rap-
idly," Capt Neve said.
"The major challenge of the activ-
ity was going from conventional train-
ing and kinetic operations, where
infantry are doing traditional infantry
roles such as platoon attacks, to a less
conventional style of operation.
"We were not primarily target-
ing the enemy through our weapons
effects, instead we were targeting them
through information operations and
use of the indigenous security forces
"Operation Barracuda was defi-
nitely a valuable exercise and a great
learning opportunity, which enhanced
where we were at with our training
and gave us new and important lessons
to take away with us."
Soldiers wore the Integrated Laser
Engagement System (ILES) equip-
ment over their body armour for the
operation, which created a realistic
The system accurately replicates
the firing capabilities and weapons
effects by detecting hits from laser
"bullets" and accurately tracks exer-
cise participants then relays their sta-
tus in near real time to the exercise
Cpl Steven Hall, 1RAR, said it was
good to be involved in a realistic exer-
cise run by CTC.
"We carried a bit more kit than
usual, including the ILES, but our
boys did it well," Cpl Hall said.
Readiness: Pte Tyson Napier, 1RAR, patrols towards a group of local security forces at Shoalwater Bay Training Area's urban operations training facility during the 1RAR certification exercise.
Inset, all personnel in the facility, including civilian role players, are mapped out for CTC referees using the Integrated Laser Engagement System.
Photos by US Marine Captain Staci Reidinger
Time to relax: From left, Cpls Alex Bashford and Steven Hall enjoy a well-earned hot meal with their platoon
commander Lt Ruddiga Bolton after Operation Barracuda.
Photo by LCpl Mark Doran
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