Soldiers from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) charged across Penanjong Beach during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2022. Travelling together in Zodiac and Gemini small-boats launched off the coast of Brunei, the integrated teams demonstrated an amphibious assault on a ‘known enemy position’ to ‘destroy’ a high-value target. One of the Australian Army platoon commanders, Lieutenant Jack Carroll, spent the following few days in the Brunei jungle with his team, where the ADF personnel participated in navigation training led by the RBAF.
“That was when we really benefited from their well-honed skills and experience in the jungle. The RBAF organised a tour to local food markets as well as the Capital [Bandar Seri Begawan], finishing up at Maura beach, where the Brunei-Australia WW2 memorial is located. This was the perfect farewell after building such a strong connection between our teams. The RBAF were outstanding hosts and we got along so well across all ranks,” Lieutenant Carroll said.
“We integrated together quickly from the start and the more time we had throughout the jungle training phase the more we realised our similarities and how much we all had in common. Although slightly different in some areas, we realised that our procedures are interoperable. They can be easily adapted so we can work with one another on a range of mission sets. The RBAF guys were younger than my platoon, for the most part. This afforded us a great mentoring opportunity, particularly during the amphibious phase. But they repaid that tenfold when we hit the jungle for the navigation phase,” Lieutenant Carroll said.
Towards the end of the exercise, the Australian Defence Force soldiers spent time with their Royal Brunei Armed Forces colleagues in a more relaxed social setting. This was the fourth year the ADF had visited Brunei during Indo-Pacific Endeavour. Brunei is a staple participant in Australia’s flagship regional engagement activity, which hopes to bring greater security, inclusivity and prosperity to the region. The ADF and RBAF also built important new professional relationships.