The 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment recently completed Exercise Ram Horn, a fortnight-long exercise designed to prepare soldiers for operations in densely populated areas.
Conducted at Wide Bay, the exercise trained soldiers to operate in perplexing urban terrain and culminated in a final assault on an urban environment with civilian role players, booby traps and multiple access points.
According to Defence, the final assault used paint ammunition to improve the training.
Warrant Officer Class II Phil Brown explained that such training is essential for preparing troops for tomorrow’s battlefield.
“8/9 RAR has been increasing the priority of urban operations training as more training facilities become available, and as doctrine is being rewritten for the contemporary environment,” WO2 Brown said to Defence News.
“Urban operations present unique challenges that other environments don’t have, requiring different techniques and procedures for close combat.
“Contact is often at very close range in challenging conditions and low-light situations.
“We’re fighting up, we’re fighting down, and we have to be aware of a multitude of different threats, including drones and cyber attacks.”
The use of paint ammunition served to enhance the style of training.
"If a combatant conducts incorrect combat behaviours, they know about it instantly through a pain response when they’re hit,” WO2 Brown continued.
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“The paint ammunition also improves the training instructor’s ability to identify correct combat behaviours and poor combat behaviours.”