Home' Army News : March 8th 2018 Contents 3
March 8, 2018
Sgt Daniel Miller
“OLD Faithful” commenced its transition
to a mechanised infantry battalion with a
mounted parade at Lavarack Barracks in
Townsville on February 26.
Commander 3 Bde Brig Scott Winter
reviewed the parade, which marks the next
chapter in the rich history of 3RAR.
The transition will occur over the next
18 months, with the parade signifying the
start of the first phase and receipt of the first
tranche of M113AS4 APCs.
The recent custodians of APCs in 3 Bde,
2 Cav Regt, will continue to support 3RAR
in crewing some of the initial issue of APCs
for the next six to 18 months, allowing
3RAR to grow its infantry APC crew com-
mander and driver capability.
The blended crew approach will ensure
the cross-levelling of skills and knowledge,
coupled with the greater level of equipment
husbandry required to operate armoured
fighting vehicles effectively. It highlights
the commitment of 2 Cav Regt in supporting
3RAR during the transition.
Acting OC C Sqn Capt Kate Clarkson
said she was impressed with her soldiers’
determination to see the job done.
“The APC crewmen and women are
incredibly resilient members. They have seen
a lot of change since 2013 but they are pas-
sionate about their platform and trade,” Capt
“They also know how to respond to chal-
lenges and are keen to support the effective
execution of mechanisation within the infan-
The battalion will use APCs in a slightly
different manner than purely a lift capability.
A mechanised infantry approach will
mean the vehicle, crew and dismounts will
operate as one system supported by key bri-
This includes firepower from 2 Cav Regt
tanks, mobility support from 3CER, the
coordination of joint fires and effects from 4
Regt, and logistics support from 3CSSB.
This combined-arms approach underpins
fighting as combat team and as a battlegroup
Transition to the future
and ensures a modern, agile and versatile
combat force capable of high-end warfight-
ing through to humanitarian and disaster
CO 3RAR Lt-Col Mick Kearns said the
mechanised capability made 3RAR a more
potent and capable force.
“Clearly, the vehicle provides additional
firepower alongside greater mobility and
protection on the battlefield,” he said.
“However, it is when they are employed
alongside other key brigade assets, such as
tanks, where the true benefit is realised as
part of a greater combined-arms effect.”
Lt-Col Kearns took command of 3RAR
in late 2017 and brought a lot of tracked
He is well postured to oversee 3RAR’s
transition as he had armoured infantry expe-
rience in the UK before he transferred to the
Australian Army in 2008, where he has spent
time in 5RAR and 7RAR, the latter as a
The battalion has been heavily commit-
ted to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan
and still has a rifle company deployed as the
Force Protection Element in Kabul, how-
ever, it has begun to train and qualify the first
batch of infantry M113AS4 drivers and crew
commanders at the School of Armour.
Lt-Col Kearns said blended crews would
enable initial vehicle knowledge and under-
standing to be passed on.
“The real momentum will come as the
mechanised capability is realised through
infantry crews tactically employing the vehi-
cle to support dismounts as one system,”
Lt-Col Kearns said.
“This will not only start the deep prepara-
tion for the Land 400 Phase 3 infantry fight-
ing vehicles, but will also allow armoured
corps soldiers to return to the ACR to re-
platform on to M1A1 and ASLAV/Land 400
Pte Marques Gutterres, a recently quali-
fied crew commander in 3RAR, said there
were some challenges in the new role,
including navigating in an armoured vehicle.
“At the start it was difficult moving at
speed while navigating, but after a while we
became used to it,” he said.
“The course in Puckapunyal was good
and we did a lot of navigation practice,
which helped our skills.”
The battalion’s transition to mechanisa-
tion will not take place overnight.
A gradual approach means a combat team
plus a battlegroup HQ will this year deploy
on Exercise Hamel as part of the opposing
force battlegroup in the short-term.
The aim is to have a mechanised battle-
group capability when 3 Bde completes its
next readying cycle in 2020.
A significant development in the growth
of Army’s mechanised capability will be the
new infantry fighting vehicle, which will be
introduced into service under the Land 400
The deep mechanisation through an
armoured fighting vehicle culture, equip-
ment husbandry and experienced RAInf
vehicle crews – alongside a combined-arms
approach to fighting – will be the focus for
not just 3RAR, but 6RAR and 7RAR as well.
The APC crewmen and
women are incredibly
resilient members ...
they are passionate
about their platform
and their trade and
know how to respond
Capt Kate Clarkson,
Acting OC C Sqn
Soldiers of 3RAR await inspection.
M113AS4 APCs ready
for the parade.
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