Home' Army News : November 7th 2013 Contents Army November 7, 2013
Operations boosted by small craft
Cpl Nick Wiseman
SMALL boats could soon have a
bigger role in ADF amphibious ele-
ments after a training assessment
was held in Brisbane to consider
what was learnt during Talisman
Triservice commanders and
planners discussed how critical the
ship-to-shore connectors were in
amphibious operations to ensure
troops get to shore at the right place
elements will now create testing
criteria to make sure the small boat
operations can be certified through
the training process.
The group looked at the strate-
gic, operational and tactical lessons
from the 2013 Amphibious Trial,
which was a series of exercises that
culminated in Talisman Sabre 13.
USMC Col John Mayer, Colonel
of Amphibious Development at HQ
1 Div, said there were plenty of
lessons still to be learnt and further
development needed, but a lot of
valuable experience was gained by
the amphibious forces and com-
manders working with the new
"Any time you exercise, no mat-
ter how many times you've done it
before you're going to learn, and
we certainly did this time," he said.
"At the tactical level, I think
we're exactly where we need to be
and we'll just get better as we go.
"The young soldiers, sailors
New wharf a perfect 10
Townsville's Port will help the Amphibious Readiness Element to provide prompt humanitarian assistance
WO2 Andrew Hetherington
and Capt Jay Ellul
A NEW $85 million facility to
be used by the Army Amphibious
Readiness Element (ARE) to embark
on the Navy's landing helicopter
docks (LHDs) was officially opened
at the Port of Townsville on October
18.The new Wharf 10 facility will
allow for more direct loading of per-
sonnel and equipment from shore to
ship for the ARE, comprised mainly
of 2RAR personnel.
CO 2RAR Lt-Col Chris Smith
said the direct access from the wharf
to the ship would decrease the time it
took to load the ships.
"Decreasing the load time will
greatly enhance the ARE reaction
speed to a natural disaster," Lt-Col
"This will allow the ARE to get
a foot on the ground to start provid-
ing life support to devastated areas
sooner, and thereby greatly enhancing
our operational capabilities."
CN VAdm Ray Griggs attended
the opening and said the Port of
Townsville and Wharf 10 were now
of strategic importance as a mount-
ing base for future ADF amphibious
"It will be a logistic node to
sustain maritime operations across
Australia's northern and north-eastern
approaches," VAdm Griggs said.
"To meet these requirements,
the port must have facilities capa-
ble of enabling sizeable forces to
be embarked and providing timely
logistic support to the RAN and allied
VAdm Griggs said he was
impressed after seeing the new wharf
for the first time.
"Navy used the old facility in
Townsville on and off for about 25
years and it was great to now see a
Amphib ready: The new
Townsville Wharf 10 will be
used by Army's Amphibious
Readiness Element when
the new LHDs arrive.
Inset, an LCM8 conducts
Photos by Cpl Matthew Bickerton and AB
new, true multi-role facility like
this," he said.
"The opening of Wharf 10 in
Townsville was a significant event
in preparation for the introduction
of the Canberra-class amphibious
vessels into the Navy."
He said the vessels would be a
big step ahead for Navy and the
"They represent a significant
increase in the ADF's ability to pro-
ject power, from hard-edged combat
power, to softer power projection,
through to humanitarian assistance
and disaster relief capabilities."
and airmen at the operator level
learn so quick -- they get it. Once
they have the ships, they'll be
galloping in no time at all."
Col Mayer said US Marines
used small boats as enablers for a
lot of their tactical operations such
as clandestine insertions, commu-
nication relay and moving supplies
back and forth, and the importance
of these operations were a critical
outcome of the trial assessment.
"We learnt a lot about small
boat operations during the trial so
we'll see a bigger role for training
in small boat operations coming
out of this," he said.
With his background in
amphibious operations, Col Mayer
said he was pleased to see how
quickly ADF members caught on.
"It was impressive to see the
joint teamwork and willingness to
participate and share information
and training," he said.
Troops will get back into
amphibious preparation early
next year when refresher
training will be conducted with
All aboard: A Landing Craft Medium prepares to remarry with
HMAS Tobruk's stern door while supplies are unloaded inside the
tank deck of the ship.
Photo by LAC David Cotton
This will allow the Amphibious
Readiness Element to get a foot on the
ground to start providing life support
to devastated areas sooner...
-- Lt-Col Chris Smith, CO 2RAR
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