Army trains for deployment

EXERCISE: Gunner Matthew Peters of 8/12 Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery mans an overwatch position at the Cultana Field Training Area during Exercise Predator's Run.
EXERCISE: Gunner Matthew Peters of 8/12 Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery mans an overwatch position at the Cultana Field Training Area during Exercise Predator's Run.

More than 2500 members of Australian Army’s 1st Brigade recently undertook a series of training activities at the Cultana Training Base near Port Augusta as they prepare for deployment in 2019.

Exercise Predator’s Run took place from September 3 to 28 and saw infantry, armour, artillery, combat engineers, combat service support and signals combined into multi-discipline teams.

The teams took on military tasks involving attacking, peace support, defence and live-fire activities which were staggered over a period of time.

A total of 174 armoured vehicles were used in the activities, ranging from the M1A1 Abram’s Tank to the M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carrier.

Major Kris Gardiner said Exercise Predator’s Run was the premier training activity for the 1st Brigade, and signalled the beginning of their road to readiness for deployment.

“The soldiers get an enormous amount out of it, any time when they can take theory and put it into practice is highly important,” he said.

While the scenarios involved soldiers using blank rounds, the live-fire training saw them fire real rounds at targets to practice their accuracy in prosecuting a target.

“During danger-close training soliders are placed in trenches close to the target area of artillery so they get the feeling of percussion of the rounds as they explode,” Mr Gardiner said.

“It helps them get used to the loud sounds they would experience on a real battlefield.”

Mr Gardiner said Cultana was a premier training facility that was perfect for tanks due to its wide-open nature.

“It’s an enormous area which is great for us to train soldiers and maneuver armoured vehicles. We’ve used it for 30 years and will use it for many more years yet,” he said.