The Mushroom Club Masthead


by LT Daniel Kirkham, OC 7 Platoon

PatrolFrom the 21st of April to the 9th of May 2014 C Company of the 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, with attachments from Support Company as well as Engineers from 1 Combat Engineer Regiment (1 CER) and Gunners from 8/12 Regt, conducted training at the Jungle Warfare Training Centre in Tully, North Queensland. The training was delivered by Jungle Training Wing (JTW) and focused on mastering core soldier skills needed to survive and thrive in the jungle environment. Core skills taught included survival and operating amongst various jungle flora and fauna including leeches, snakes, mosquitoes and the notoriously painful 'Wait-a-While' thorn vine and Gympie plant. The Company tested its skills during the conduct LDFSWof Section and Platoon fighting patrols, clearances and ambushes conducted both day and night at very close ranges of as little as 10 metres. The jungle warfare training culminated in the military skills competition Exercise True Grit where Sections competed in a pre-dawn 5 km pack march following by a webbing run, stores carries and concluded with the Tully obstacle course and Bayonet Assault Course. First place was awarded to 31B Section of 7 Platoon under CPL Gluck whose names are now etched into the infamous Tully log records. The uniquely challenging environment of Tully served to strengthen Section and Platoon bonds by emphasising fundamental skills and teamwork within C Coy.

MDFSWFollowing Jungle Warfare Training C Company conducted adventure and pre-deployment training in Townsville from the 12th to the 15th of May 2014. As a key part of C Company's preparation for EX GOLDEN EAGLE (RIMPAC 14), members conducted Helicopter Underwater Escape Training at the Lavarack Barracks Facility. Members were taught sea crash survival techniques, including the operation of life preserving equipment and escape from a variety of airframes in simulated water crashes. MDFSWAdditionally C Company members were forced outside of their comfort zones during their adventure training climb and abseil off of Mount Stuart in Townsville. Many fears were faced, both voluntarily and involuntarily, as C Company soldiers mentored each other over cliffs above the 584 metre long drop off Mount Stuart, experiencing the terror of falling and the relief of being saved by a mate.

From the 19th to the 23rd of May 2014 C Company conducted a High Explosive (HE) Week live fire range activity to practice the application of fire using various weapon systems at the individual and team level. C Coy commenced the week with multiple small arms ranges focusing on instinctive shooting practices such as sneaker lanes and gallery shoots to gauge individual application of speed, accuracy and fire positions. MDFSWThis was followed by continuation training on the Company's HE weapon systems. Soldiers practiced the precise destruction of vehicle and dismounted targets using the 40mm Grenade Launching Attachment (GLA), 66mm Light Direct Fire Support Weapon (LDFSW) and 84mm Karl Gustav, with various ammunition natures, at ranges up to 500 metres. Finally C Company conducted field firing ranges where soldiers proved their ability to seek out and close with the enemy, manoeuvring as a Section utilising live ammunition to engage multiple and dynamic targets. This preparation in addition to C Company's experiences from JTW, Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) {see footnote} and adventure training have positioned C Company well for its future multinational amphibious operations in Hawaii as part of RIMPAC 14 where C Company will be operating with the militaries of the United States, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, Indonesia, Tonga and Korea.


Footnote from LT Jacob Malouf, OC 8 Platoon, Charlie Company, 5 RAR; Helicopter Underwater Escape Training is essentially controlled drowning and can be anywhere on the spectrum from a fun filled afternoon in the pool to a horrifying experience. That was entirely dependant on how well you handle being restrained, blindfolded, dunked underwater, then turned upside down and told to swim out, following a logical, smooth sequence...

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