8/9RAR setting sights on busy year ahead
By Mike Hughes
Soldiers from the 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, conducted live-fire training at Wide Bay and Greenbank training areas in Queensland as part of Exercise Ram Shot in February.
Members completed mounted and dismounted live fire using static and dynamic drills, including section attacks, shooting through obstacles and firing a MAG 58 general purpose machine gun off a Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle.
Lieutenant Daniel Kelleher said it was a good chance to practise getting the basics right ahead of major exercises later in the year, including Exercise Talisman Sabre.
“It’s really beneficial to get the soldiers live-firing, especially ahead of a busy year coming up,” he said.
“It’s part of our bread and butter; it’s incredibly important and it’s great for them to spend some more time in a field environment.”
Companies alternated between Greenbank and Wide Bay, enhancing their capability to quickly adapt to different environments.
Private Shaun Wickham said he enjoyed the exercise and it was a great opportunity to bond with the soldiers he will spend a lot of field time with.
“It’s good to get out at the start of the year and get hands on tools and fire some rounds down range,” he said.
“It’s great to spend some time with everyone; they’re a great group to be around and it’ll bring us closer together ahead of a big few months.”