Soldiers from 7 Combat Brigade now have a deeper understanding of the combat power the Australian Army can generate thanks to a live-fire defensive operation serial conducted at Shoalwater Bay Training Area during Exercise Diamond Walk. In a scripted event, almost all the combat power organic to the 7 Combat Brigade was used against a fictional enemy. The serial began with sniper fire and the firing of a Javelin anti-armour weapon before rounds from Mark 47 Automatic Grenade Launchers and 84 millimetre Carl Gustav weapons joined the fray.
The serial continued with indirect and direct fires from M777 self-propelled howitzer from 1 Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, before M1A1 Main Battle Tanks from 2/14 Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) moved into position to provide further firepower. Soldiers from 6 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and 2 Combat Engineer Regiment then joined in firing small arms and HE from entrenched positions.
Brigadier Blain said the exercise was important for 7 Brigade after a big start to 2021. “7 Brigade has been very busy supporting domestic operations,Last year it was with bushfires, and also more recently it has been with floods, and we continue conducting operations supporting COVID-19. This activity is about sharpening our conventional warfighting skills because we are a warfighting brigade.” he said.
Commander 7 Combat Brigade, Brigadier Jason Blain, said it was a very important battlefield inoculation experience for soldiers. “This activity allowed the dismounted infantry and engineers, and all those around them, to see, hear, smell and feel the combined arms effect that can be delivered when you work together in a defensive phase of operations. We had live rounds being used across a broad range of organic weapon systems being engaged at targets from about 4000 metres, and then all the way forward to directly in front of dug-in positions.”
Corporal Wilson Purdie from 6 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment said,”The defensive operation serial was a thrill for many soldiers. It’s great for the junior soldiers who haven’t experienced this kind of thing before. It’s a lot of these soldiers’ first exercise being integrated within the combined arms space. Having that familiarisation with the tanks as well as artillery is very rewarding. I think they got a lot out of it.”
The four-week exercise is meant to improve co-operation among elements of the 7th Combat Brigade, each with its own specialisation. Exercise Diamond Walk 2021 is meant to improve co-operation among elements of the 7th Combat Brigade, each with its own specialisation. This exercise is the next level in the progression where Australian Army working with artillery, tanks, engineers to integrate all of those specialised roles so we can work in a combined arms manner. The Diamond Walk was the largest exercise in which his battalion had taken part in the past 18 months.