Tank crews from the Australian Army 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment honed their skills in M1A1 Abrams Tanks during Exercise Howling Wolf, while local Indigenous school children interested in a Defence Force career watched on. Receiving orders from the Wide Bay Training Area control tower to destroy a notional enemy, tank crews cycled through their drills to neutralise threats, ticking the boxes to progress to their next level of training. Representatives from the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships also showing their support.
“I’ve done live fire before on my gunners course, so it was good to hone those foundation skills and drills again. It was thrilling. You’re laser-focused the whole time and when you finish to take that moment to breathe, you realise it’s one of the best jobs you can have. It’s not just about one person, you’re backed by the rest of the crew and you work like a well-oiled machine,” Trooper Goldberg said. Trooper Dade Goldberg was one of the newer gunners being assessed throughout the two-week exercise. Trooper Goldberg said they worked as a four-man crew.
“Supporting employment among Indigenous youths to help them get into jobs and working is an important part of our job. The Defence Force gives Indigenous youths a pathway and guidance, which they need at a young age. Some of the candidates we have are just looking for someone to guide them and give them the tools for success.Exercise Howling Wolf was definitely an eye opener for them; it’s a good step for them to see if they really want to commit to the Army,” Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships representative Joel Moon Mr Moon said.
Australian Army 59 M1A1 (AIM) configuration tanks (hybrids with a mix of equipment used by U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps but without depleted uranium layers in armor). These tanks were bought from the U.S. in 2006 and replaced the Leopard AS1 in 2007. As of 2017, the Australian Government was considering expanding the Army’s fleet of Abrams to 90 tanks. In 2016, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell stated that the Australian army may upgrade its current M1A1 fleet to the M1A2C under LAND 907 Phase 2.