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Capt Fiona Bickerstaff
A PLATOON patrols down a deserted road
as an M1A1 Abrams provides firepower,
when suddenly small arms fire rings out.
So begins the Combined Arms Training
Activity (CATA) of the Officer and Junior
Leaders’ Course (OJLC).
Australian and New Zealand trainers
of Task Group Taji (TGT) 6 have been
preparing trainees of the fifth iteration of
this course, delivered through the Non-
Commissioned Officer Academy (NCO-A)
at Taji Military Complex, for 11 weeks.
Cpl Andy Trudgian, of TGT-6’s
Training Team-1, has been assisting the
instructors of NCO-A as they put about
100 Iraqi Army students through their
“The training involved basic soldiering
principles ranging from urban and rural
patrols all the way through to platoon and
company-size activities,” Cpl Trudgian
“There were a range of activities we
conducted in the lead up to the CATA from
small section-level attacks from an insur-
gent force through to security for local
Although this was the second OJLC
CATA TGT-6 has overseen, this is the
first where the training team has delivered
the full period of instruction. During this
period the trainees were introduced to a
number of new skills such as integrating
tanks as a manoeuvre capability.
For 2IC Training Team-1 Capt Dylan
Paraga, it was a proud moment to see the
trainees through the 11-week course.
“This is the first complete course our
training team has conducted in support of
NCO-A, so it’s been a great experience to
see the trainees grow and develop through-
out,” Capt Paraga said.
“Seeing the standard of individual and
collective skills that they arrived with, in
comparison to the end product, has given
all the Anzac trainers a sense of genuine
pride and success in what we are doing
Strength to strength
Lt Mitchell Lindsay (foreground) and Lt Jessey Rybicki help to set up a training aid as Iraqi soldiers
take part in the combined arms training activity.
An Iraqi Army M1A1 Abrams rolls down the road
during training as part of the Officer and Junior
Leaders Course at Taji Military Complex, Iraq.
Photos: Cpl Steve Duncan
Defence Force Magistrate
1 x Using a Forged
Document – DFDA s 61(3)
and Criminal Code (Cth)
Member was accused of
using a forged document
to demonstrate that a loan
had been expended for the
purpose that it had been
approved. Member pleaded
guilty to the charge and was
found guilty of the charge.
Member was fined a total
of $2368.66 (with $1184.33
suspended), and severely
All Court Martial and Defence
Force Magistrate trial results are
subject to command review and
appeal. The results indicated are
of trials across the Defence Force.
May 17, 2018
THE ADF has joined Pacific
partners for Exercise Balikatan
focusing on enhancing region-
al military cooperation, inter-
operability and the participat-
ing nations’ abilities to respond
effectively during times of dis-
aster or humanitarian crisis.
The major international mili-
tary exercise in the Philippines
is jointly hosted by the Armed
Forces of the Philippines and
US Pacific Command from May
CJOPS VAdm David
Johnston said the ADF’s ongo-
ing support to the annual exer-
cise was another example of
Australia’s commitment to
regional security and stability.
“This exercise allows us to
build on our already strong rela-
tionship with both the Armed
Forces of the Philippines and
the US military’s Pacific
Command,” he said.
“The word Balikatan trans-
lates as ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’
and that certainly characterises
the spirit of this exercise.”
Balikatan includes a com-
mand post exercise, a humani-
tarian and disaster relief pro-
gram as well as a range of mili-
tary training activities.
The exercise involves about
60 ADF personnel including an
VAdm Johnston said this
was the 34th year Balikatan was
staged and the fifth time the
ADF was an active participant.
“The United States, the
Philippines and Australia have
a long-standing relationship dat-
ing back to WWII resulting in
a significant, ongoing contribu-
tion to regional security,” VAdm
“Our recent support opera-
tions following natural disasters
in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and
Tonga demonstrate that regional
cooperation during times of nat-
ural disaster is more important
“Balikatan is a valuable
opportunity for participating
nations to prepare for real world
ready for anything
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