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Army December 8, 2011
By Capt Felicity Hamblin
MEMBERS of 4 Bde's Timor-Leste
Task Group 4 (TLTG 4) undertook
specialist courses to build section-level
skills before pre-deployment training
During Exercise Baucau, soldiers had
the opportunity to undertake the interim
infantry mobility vehicle driving course,
combat first aid course, combat commu-
nications course or the abridged Tetum
language. The combat communications
course was delivered by 108 Sig Sqn in
Watsonia, while the other courses were
run at Puckapunyal.
Maj James Weaver from the HQ 4 Bde
mounting team said the two-week courses
were designed to build specialist skills
"Ex Baucau has been designed to
ensure we meet the taskings we've been
given for the section structure -- each
section needs to have a driver, communi-
cations specialists, first aiders, and mem-
bers who can hold a basic conversation
with the people of Timor," he said.
"This is why we designed this course
period just before force concentration, so
we've got enough trained people and a
few spares to fill those positions within
the company structure."
Taking part in the combat first aid
course, Pte Cameron Dudgeon said task
group members were able to nominate for
the courses they were most interested in
and would be section-level specialists in
their respective fields.
"I chose the CFA course as it offers
transferable skills that can be used in
civvie street and to be able to help out in
Timor if called upon," he said.
"Cannulating and getting drips into
people, administering morphine, and
learning these life-saving skills makes it
really interesting, and it's important that
each section has members trained in this
area to ensure we can give medical treat-
ment until more qualified medics arrive at
The next stage of the training con-
tinuum is concentration of the 2 Div and
4 Bde force element at Puckapunyal for
force preparation training, which will
also include the 4 Bde Combined Arms
Training Activity. Elements of 7 Bde will
also link up in early January before the
mission rehearsal activity.
"Pucka will come alive for us -- we'll
have about 300 people there, those going
and those in support," Maj Weaver said.
"We gained good experience from 2
Div's previous and current contribution to
Timor and have put together a balanced,
relevant and realistic training continuum.
"It will be a great training ground to
get the soldiers 100 per cent prepared for
Task group warms
up for deployment
of 4 Bde's
4 treat a
Photo by Capt
By Capt Sean Childs
WITH the summer bushfire sea-
son nearing, 4 Bde's 4 Reserve
Response Force (4RRF) tested
emergency response skills in two
evolving scenarios during a certi-
fication exercise (Certex) weekend
The Certex evaluated 4 Bde's readi-
ness to conduct Defence Assistance to
the Civil Community (DACC), with
4RRF personnel drawn from 8/7RVR,
5/6RVR, 4/19PWLH, 108 Sig Sqn,
2/10 Mdm Regt, 4CSSB, MUR, and
MONUR. The activity was coordinated
by 22 Const Regt.
The first phase was a regional bush-
fire scenario, the second an urban earth-
quake. Both scenarios presented civil
disaster realities and the need for civil-
Initial exercise orders outlined phase
one only, keeping phase two undis-
closed to test reaction and response to
an evolving situation.
OC 4RRF Maj Paul Middleton said
gathering the RRF was an important
part of the training.
"The first priority is the orders, but
the second is the supporting information
that any force needs for an operation-
al task and subsequent tracking," Maj
"These include personnel registers,
media and legal briefs, safety, medical
and psych briefs. In the RRF context we
have to be able to get these done often
on a very short timeline -- less than 24
hours -- ready to support a DACC task."
For the bushfire scenario, the RRF
moved into the AO to conduct a rapid
impact assessment and vehicle control
"For rapid impact assessment we
add speed and accuracy to the mix,
because at the state level people are try-
ing to make meaningful decisions about
support and we may be the first agency
to provide that information.
"For VCP tasks it's a bit simpler and
it's about safety and effectiveness to
The bushfire scenario was staged in
Yallourn North, about 155km south east
of Watsonia with a population of about
1200 people and 520 residential proper-
ties, with the north-east of the township
ravaged by fire.
"We defined five rapid impact assess-
ment sectors then allocated them in
the most logical way so platoons could
understand the tasks and sequence as
easily as possible," Maj Middleton said.
Reactions tested in Certex
"In the back of our minds we also
tried to ensure one platoon had slightly
less work than the others so we could
retask them if required."
Early the next morning the sec-
ond scenario's earthquake in Oakleigh
unfolded, designed to test and evaluate
the team's response adaptability.
"We needed to quickly relocate
130km back to the west, switching from
rapid impact assessment to urban search
and rescue," Maj Middleton said.
"We reorientated to the new task
well after receiving orders at 4am. We
went through the new formal orders,
convoy orders and the search and res-
cue team also managed to get in a
rehearsal of line and hail search before
the company group pulled down our
entire setup and stepped off.
"It was a good achievement to get
through all those steps and do it by
the book in three-and-a-half hours. It
reinforces the good standard of leader-
ship we have in the corporal to captain
Complementing the Certex was a
team of observer trainers who evaluated
4RRF's performance against a mission
essential training list. The evaluation
covered command and control, civil
emergency agency liaison, low-risk
search and resource management.
Observer trainer CSM WO2 Scott
Reeves said the company group worked
well within its capability and performed
to a high standard.
"At times, they more-than exceeded
their required capability -- their overall
performance was very high."
Search and rescue: Spr Kerry Day, left, conducts a simulated search and rescue activity during 4RRF's Certex
Photo by Capt Sean Childs
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