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Army August 30, 2012
Tactical Assault Group -- East put its security skills to the test
LS Paul Berry
IT WAS cold, dark and very early as
Special Forces soldiers filed into an
isolated southern Victorian aircraft
hangar, quietly laying out kit bags
laden with body armour, weapons and
Ground crew towed Black Hawks onto
the flight line as information about terror-
ist activity in Port Phillip Bay flowed into
a makeshift command centre nearby.
Cpl M explained what was happening.
"Tonight we are here for our final prepara-
tory stages to resolve a counter-terrorist
incident within Port Phillip Bay," he said.
Cpl M and 2 Cdo Regt's domestic coun-
ter-terrorist response force, the Tactical
Assault Group -- East (TAG-East), were
taking part in a multi-agency maritime
counter-terrorism and emergency response
TAG-East combined with other ele-
ments of Army, Navy, Air Force, Victoria
Police and federal government security
agencies for the complex exercise from
July 27 to August 12.
Responding to challenging scenarios
throughout Melbourne and Port Phillip
Bay, TAG-East soldiers honed methods of
dealing with various maritime terrorist inci-
Executive Officer TAG-East Capt T said
it was a great chance to exercise in what
could be a challenging and unpredictable
A lot of the skills the
soldiers bring to this
exercise have been
practised with our
the world ...
-- Maj-Gen Gus Gilmore, Special
Operations Commander Australia
Air lift: Black Hawks flew in support of the exercise which ran from
July 27 to August 12.
"This is our opportunity to link in and
work with other services and agencies,
focus on threats that might occur offshore
and ensure we have the interoperabil-
ity that we need should a real-time threat
occur," Capt T said.
"At every level the soldiers have a
chance to work on the necessary equip-
ment and make sure they've got everything
they need to operate in the maritime envi-
ronment; the Bass Strait at this time of
year can be very challenging."
TAG-East and TAG-West are ADF
units structured, designed and trained to
resolve domestic terrorist threats. They are
often referred to as Australia's force of last
They exist as one of Australia's coun-
ter-terrorist response and prevention capa-
bility elements, working closely with other
departments and agencies in support of the
Australia Maj-Gen Gus G
ADF developed its counte
bility through working clos
al and global partners.
"A lot of the skills the s
this exercise have been pra
partners and allies throug
so it's an extremely high l
ity and one that provides a
should Government require
incident in Australia," Ma
said.Capt T said the TAG
were presented with uniqu
problems to test their skills
"We always try to
present them with sce-
narios where they are chall
to think on their feet," Capt
These are challenges t
his team thrive on.
"We train for a wide ran
we may encounter in a co
environment and it's only
ning stages that we know e
are expected to achieve," C
"We are well rehearsed
and day and weather is an u
of the training, so we mak
"This is a tremendous opportunity for
TAG-East, having the available assets that
we do throughout this exercise."
m Committee in
Gilmore said the
sely with region-
soldiers bring to
actised with our
hout the world,
level of capabil-
e it in a terrorist
ue and difficult
s during the
lenged and have
t T said.
that Cpl M and
nge of tasks that
during the plan-
exactly what we
pl M said.
to operate night
ke do with what
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