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Armoured Cavalry Regiment works with brigade for first time
Cpl Nick Wiseman
SPEARHEADING the army's
modernisation under Plan
Beersheba and making its debut
on the battlefield for the 3 Bde-
led CATA was the 1 Armd Regt-
led Armoured Cavalry Regiment
The ACR turned up in force with
14 Abrams Tanks, 30 ASLAVs, 55
M113s, two heavy recovery vehicles
and 441 soldiers.
ACR commander Lt-Col Scott
Winter said although he was confi-
dent it would be successful, the exer-
cise turned out better than expected.
"Soldiers at all levels were excit-
ed at the prospect of working not
only with the armoured elements
from the ACR but also the air dimen-
sion in both air lift and the Tigers,"
"The options that are available
to commanders at all levels to fight
the combined arms team in differ-
ent ways demonstrated it's the way
The activity began several weeks
earlier for soldiers of the ACR,
involving integration and lead-up
training for all of the armoured ele-
Lt-Col Winter said the journey to
the CATA was just as important as
the CATA itself.
"There is a big focus on inte-
gration of tanks and APCs," Lt-Col
"Clearly one of the changes is
that APCs are no longer resident
within the previous mechanised bat-
"The other focus was the integra-
tion of recon enablers based on the
cavalry squadron to provide the bri-
gade commander with a formation
The CATA provided the perfect
opportunity for soldiers, includ-
ing the CO, to gain their M113AS4
conversion, learning to get the most
out of the AS4 and making a change
from their usual tanks and ASLAVs.
Lt-Col Winter praised the
efforts of the soldiers and said it
had been an experience driven
from the bottom up.
"The buy-in from soldiers at all
levels is why we see such a good
combined arms outcome," he said.
"I take my hat off to their
The ACR will now take a
short break before regrouping in
Townsville and deploying once
again as part of 3 Bde on Exercise
Talisman Sabre 13.
"IF WE'RE serious about being
an Army, this is the way we need
to go." These were the words
of Armoured Cavalry Regiment
(ACR) tank commander Cpl
Matthew Youngs after completing
the recent 3 Bde-led CATA.
Cpl Youngs deployed to the
field as a tank commander, part
of the brand new ACR trialled for
the first time as part of a multi-role
He said it was the first time
many of the infantry soldiers had
the opportunity to work with tanks.
"It was a huge eye-opener for
them," he said.
"We did a lot of demonstrations
with them so they got used to the
sound of the cannon and also the
safety requirements and how it
would restrict their movements."
For many 3 Bde infantry
soldiers accustomed to walking
into the battleground by foot
carrying their weapons, the ACR
provided a change and introduced
everyone to the combined-arms
Cpl Youngs said it was one of
the first times in a while he had
experienced a combined arms
exercise at such a level.
"We're told to use our imagina-
tion in regard to support elements
on some exercises," he said.
"This time we had them there
and it was about as real as you're
going to get in training.
"The newer guys were able to
see what the Army was capable of
with all the different assets work-
ing on the battlefield -- it was an
impressive display of firepower,"
FUTURE CLEAR FOR TANK CREWS
Cpl Max Bree
A mechanised company from the
Kamarian Military Forces, drawn
mostly from 3RAR's support company,
opposed 3 Bde during the CATA.
Eight B vehicles, some mocked-
up to represent T80 tanks and BTR
70 armoured vehicles, were used as a
Kamarian mechanised company and
attached tank troop.
About 45 soldiers from 3RAR's
Direct Fire Support Weapons Pl, Recon
and Snipers along with some Signals Pl
and Pioneer Pl members played the part
of the Kamarian troops.
Opfor commander Maj Keith Lawton
said the enemy force was engaged in a
"The mission for each serial was to
delay the Australian Battlegroup in order
to enable the remainder of the Kamarian
Military Forces Mech Battalion to final-
ise preparations at the main defensive
position in Impact Sector North of
Townsville Field Training Area," he said.
This meant defending against three
battlegroup attacks on their position at
the urban operations training facility.
The Kamarian scheme of manoeu-
vre involved establishing a mounted and
dismounted observation post and anti-
armour screens to the south and west of
their position, according to Maj Lawton.
"This involved snipers, recon ele-
ments and anti-armour DFSW squads to
identify the size, disposition and inten-
tions of each battlegroup," he said.
"These screens and observation
posts were either collapsed on order
or destroyed by each respective battle-
The next phase of the Kamarian plan
was to delay each battlegroup as they
prepared to attack the urban operations
The enemy force set up a series of
closer screening layers and finally held
the facility with the remaining elements
of the mechanised company until each
Australian battlegroup achieved or start-
ed a break-in to the urban position, Maj
"Elements of the Opfor then withdrew
from the position and, in some instances,
employed a tank platoon counter-attack
force against the battlegroup," he said.
The Kamarians then notionally moved
back to their mech battalion position
in Impact Sector North before 3 Bde
launched a live-fire attack.
Mortar Pl members from 3RAR also
conducted lead-up training and provided
support in the mortar role to the live-fire
phase, along with a section of DFSW for
the Javelin live fire.
Support Coy members also provided
support staff for the conduct, construction
and refurbishment of live-fire ranges.
Enemy achieves a lot
with a small force
a mud map
LAC Oliver Carter
Heavy metal: Abrams, ASLAVs and M113s from the Armoured Cavalry Regiment advance to battle
during the 3 Bde CATA live-fire exercise.
Photo by LAC Oliver Carter
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