Home' Army News : April 12th 2012 Contents Army April 12, 2012
TWO northern units
strengthened their ties
in the tropical waters of
Darwin harbour in early
March with 2 Cav Regt and 36
Water Tpt Tp teaming up to prac-
tise amphibious operations.
The training and experience load-
ing the vehicles on and off boats onto
a sand bar out in the harbour was
a valuable part of both units' battle
A Sqn, 2 Cav Regt crew com-
mander Cpl Shane Cowell said it was
the second time he had been involved
with the boats.
"My first time was when we
brought the vehicles back from East
Timor in 2002," he said.
"Doing it now is giving the guys
an experience working with the
The morning started with the
usual safety briefs before the ASLAV
crews loaded their vehicles onto the
boats at HMAS Coonawarra under
the careful watch of the deckhands.
Experienced deckhand Pte Ian
Cox said working with 2 Cav Regt
was a challenge, but great experience
for the boat crews.
"We take into account craft stabil-
ity. It's not like a truck -- the ocean
can get rough out there," he said.
"We're looking at how the boat
is loaded and making adjustments
where vehicles are positioned so it's
correct to go to sea."
After the vehicles were stowed
away the boats left the ramp for a
quick trip to ensure they were loaded
properly and could manoeuvre cor-
Once this check was completed
the boats made their way out into
Darwin harbour to a sand bar big
enough for the ASLAVs to disem-
bark and patrol.
Sighting the sand bar, the boats
powered in for the final part of the
journey and dropped the ramps into
the sand as the ASLAVs burst out.
Initially forming into a defensive
line, the vehicles then moved into a
patrol formation and patrolled the
sand bar, returning to the area the
boats were located once the exercise
had been completed.
After the main component of the
activity was completed the 2 Cav
Regt members offered the boat crew
the opportunity to experience a ride
in an ASLAV around the sand bar.
Taking up the offer was 36 Water
Tpt Tp Commander Lt Patrick
Rowley, who said the training activ-
ity was a great opportunity for both
"We spend 50 per cent of our
time on Operation Resolute tasks
supporting Norforce," he said.
"Supporting 1 Bde and doing
something like this was great training
for both Exercise Triton Thunder and
Exercise Hamel later this year."
With the Army's focus on
amphibious operations and capabil-
ity, the future is clear and both units
are looking forward to more training
opportunities throughout the year.
Cav's day at
As 3 Bde units took the Navy's new amphibious ship out near
Townsville, 2 Cav Regt and 36 Water Tpt Tp joined forces for their
own training session, Cpl Nick Wiseman reports.
The LCM8s used by 36 Water Tpt Tp
in Darwin normally operate with a crew
of four, but often have more when on
Operation Resolute tasks, which could
be up to six weeks long.
Each crew has a minimum of a
vessel master (corporal) in charge of
the boat, an engineer (marine fitter
armourer) and two deckhands.
They are fitted with extra fuel pods
and water in order to stay on the water
for an extended period of time during
Introduced into the Army in 1965,
the landing craft are among the oldest
military vehicles still in use today.
LCM8 -- ARMY'S STALWART HAULER
Dune buggy: A 2 Cav Regt ASLAV hits the sand from a 36 Water Tpt Tp
LCM8 in Darwin Harbour. Inset, vessel master Cpl Simi Tauasa, of 36 Water
Tpt Tp, pilots his LCM8 through the harbour
Photo by Cpl Nick Wiseman
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