Australian Army crest

Collaboration the key on Regional Warfighter

Story by Captain Cody Tsaousis

PDF icon Download article as PDF

Photo: © Private Alfred Stauder

An Australian Army soldier participates in jungle training during Exercise Regional Warfighter at Tully Training Area.
Photo: © Private Alfred Stauder

Jungle conditions and wet weather challenged soldiers from 8th/9th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (8/9RAR) and the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) on Exercise Regional Warfighter.

Members from Combat Team Alpha 8/9RAR and the FANC completed training serials including coordinated strikes, ambushes and non-combatant evacuation operations at the Tully Training Area in March.

Photo: © Private Alfred Stauder

An Australian Army soldier from the 8th/9th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, helps clear a village during Exercise Regional Warfighter in Tully, Queensland. Photo: © Private Alfred Stauder

Officer Commanding Combat Team Alpha Major Jake Smith-Wright said conditions were difficult, with significant rainfall blanketing the jungle training area throughout much of the three-week period. “The jungle is a challenging place to operate in, however, we are here to teach the soldiers to thrive in that environment,” he said.

“It was particularly wet in the first few days, which saw everyone understand the importance of how to set up their kit and equipment, as well as being in the right mindset when they come into this type of terrain.

“It's been a very challenging environment but we find that brings the soldiers together.”

On top of building resilience, the training was valuable to the soldiers ahead of larger exercises later in the year, such as the combined arms training activity.

Training with the FANC was beneficial to learn how to achieve shared objectives.

“It's a unique opportunity to learn in an environment that you're not used to, while also developing a relationship with another force,” Major Smith-Wright said.

Photo: © Private Alfred Stauder

Australian Army soldiers conduct a casualty evacuation during Exercise Regional Warfighter. Photo: © Private Alfred Stauder

“It's a great chance to exchange some knowledge with the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia, and work hand in hand with them to achieve a shared outcome.

“There's so much value in conducting exercises with inserts from other forces, especially those who are in close proximity to us.”

The exercise finished with a physical training challenge, which involved running, completing an obstacle course and an uphill stores carry.

Upcoming Events
SoldierMod eBook
Click here for SoldierMod FREE eBook