A cohort of junior Army officers have put their leadership skills to the test, qualifying as troop leaders or platoon commanders.
Australian Army combat arms officers have completed Exercise Gauntlet Strike — an officer training course held at Puckapunyal Military Area, designed to test the leadership capabilities of junior combat arms officers.
The exercise involved 268 Army personnel, with 154 junior officers participating in the week-long challenge.
The officers were tasked with completing a range of activities as part of a combat team, fighting against an opposition force.
Exercise Gauntlet Strike was the culmination of the Regimental Officer Basic Course for the Royal Australian Armoured Corps and for the Mechanised Regimental Officer Course — aimed at bolstering manoeuvring skills in Army’s armoured personnel carriers.
The participants are now qualified junior officers in their battalion or regiment, which form part of one of Army’s combat brigades.
“While they are artillery, armour or infantry officers first, Army expects them to confidently lead teams who can achieve a combination of army capabilities,” Commandant of the Combined Arms Training Centre, Colonel Patrick Davison, said.
Exercise Gauntlet Strike exposes officers to a mix of combat arms and tests their ability to plan and execute realistic missions.
“The Combined Arms Training Centre provides world-class training that is purposefully demanding, to ensure the next generation of combat leaders is equipped to fight and win under arduous conditions and challenging circumstances.”
Colonel Davison lauded the efforts of the junior Army officers.
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“Their performance has been outstanding. I’m confident they can meet the challenges of command and are equipped to face the complexities of warfighting now and into the future,” he added.
Exercise Gauntlet Strike followed Exercise Kapyong Warrior — during which infantry soldiers from the 3rd Brigade’s 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) conducted live fire anti-armour stalks using direct fire support weapons (DFSW).
Held at the Townsville field training area this month, the exercise aimed to develop battalion and company-level skills ahead of a brigade warfighter activity.
Activities included an anti-armour stalk exercise to eliminate enemy targets, designed to move on-foot in small teams, maintaining a low profile within the battlespace.
[Related: Army hones anti-armour strike capability ]