|Report from Tyrone Cashin July 2017|
The 2nd Cavalry Regiment, otherwise known as Battle Group Eagle, is ready for war. The completion of several field training exercises throughout the first half of 2017 has seen the battle group become certified and postured for operations and other contingency taskings within Australia and abroad.
In early March the battle group deployed to Townsville Field Training Area (TFTA) to conduct EX EAGLE CRAWL; an exercise practicing each of the Combat Teams (A Squadron – Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles ASLAV, B Squadron – M113AS4 with an infantry company minus from B Company, 1 RAR, C Squadron M1A1 Abrams with a platoon from B Company, 1 RAR and combat engineers from 3 CER, Support Squadron and Regimental Headquarters) in individual crew and troop level live fire gunnery training.
At the completion of EX EAGLE CRAWL an M1A1 tank crew from T33A and an M88 Hercules crew from T38C, C Squadron deployed to Cowley Beach Training Area to participate in the MEXEFLOTE trials; an amphibious landing vessel which would be later utilised during EX TALISMAN SABRE.
During the latter half of March the Regimental Headquarters participated in a command post exercise called EX FLASHING SABRE. Simultaneously, members from B Squadron also participated in a War fighter exercise at TFTA. Both activities culminated in the arrival of Tropical Cyclone Debbie. All members participating in both activities were recalled to allow preparations of their homes and to be with families. Tropical Cyclone Debbie did not affect Townsville as much as it did further south and subsequently members returned to duty once the all clear was given from Brigade Headquarters. Upon return to duty there was a redesign and restructure for the conduct of the upcoming EX EAGLE WALK.
During EX EAGLE WALK the battle group conducted a five day dry manoeuvre exercise at TFTA. The purpose of this activity was to practise the employment of all combat teams against a live enemy. The activity was a success with all key stakeholders achieving the desired training outcomes in preparation for future training activities.
During April, the battle group refocused towards ANZAC Day and EX EAGLE RUN. ANZAC Day was a success with the Regiment conducting a fitting dawn service prior to members being released to attend other services within Townsville. C Squadron represented the unit to the highest order at Charters Towers, seeing them march proudly through the streets then return to Townsville afterwards for commemorations. Immediately after ANZAC Day, the battle group deployed to TFTA once again to conduct Combat Team live fire manoeuvre exercises. Each Combat Team was tested under trying conditions and scenarios by day and night. The quality of training was of the highest order and big thanks goes out to A Company, 2 RAR for assisting with the dismounted safety staff. At the conclusion of EX EAGLE RUN, the battle group was postured well for EX BROLGA STRIKE.
During June, the battle group deployed on EX BROLGA STRIKE, a 3 Brigade led dry and live fire manoeuvre exercises conducted at TFTA. Battle Group Eagle performed well however was held back in some tactical portions of the exercise to allow Battle Group Coral (1 RAR) and Battle Group Samichon (2 RAR) to achieve training outcomes. The enemy was supplied by a troop minus from B Squadron and C Company, 3 RAR. Once the dry training was completed the Brigade shifted focus to the battle group live fire manoeuvre exercises. Members from 2 Cav Regt in co-operation with C Company, 3 RAR were responsible for the targeting of all three battle group’s LFMX. A few days were dedicated to achieve this which also allowed the Director of Practice, Commanding Officer 4 Regiment, to rehearse the safety architecture and co-ordination of battle space effects. This period also allowed CO Battle Group Eagle to deliver orders to his Combat Team commanders. Once orders had been delivered the battle group conducted its live fire successfully. The live fire activity included a live fire obstacle breach, danger close artillery strikes on known enemy objectives, close air support and the live firing of a majority of the AFVs within Battle Group Eagle. This activity allowed the battle group to operate on two lines of march / advance to contact which required clear communications between combat teams. The professionalism displayed by all involved was truly humbling, the CO impressed with how well his Battle Group performed. At the completion of EX BROLGA STRIKE, the battle group was ready for EX TALISMAN SABRE.
During July, Battle Group Eagle deployed to EX TALISMAN SABRE, Shoalwater Bay Training Area. The battle group participated in a Divisional activity which saw its members perform extremely well under trying conditions. Most members of the battle group were constantly operating for the six day duration of the exercise, working non stop through day and night, which drew positive comments from both observer trainers and Divisional head quarters. The completion of this exercise saw the battle group return to Townsville for much needed rest. The focus now shifts to the latter half of the year, which will see the unit prepare for operations in Iraq.
The remainder of 2017 will be dedicated to operations. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment will be the mounting headquarters for Task Group Taji Six (TGT 6) to deploy to the Taji Military Complex, Iraq in November. This will see members of the unit complete several specialist courses, briefings, kitting issues and participate in the Mission Rehearsal Exercise prior to deploying. It is a busy period ahead, however the unit is well postured for success and this is attributed to the professionalism and work ethic of its soldiers. The culture of not letting your mates down and doing things for the team is strong within the 2nd Cavalry Regiment and we are certain this will pave the way for mission success in Iraq in the near future.
WO2 Tyrone Cashin
President NQ Branch