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New infantry officers take to the Queensland jungle

Infantry lieutenants on their Regimental Officer Basic Course have carried out jungle operations as part of their training.

Infantry lieutenants on their Regimental Officer Basic Course have carried out jungle operations as part of their training.

While jungle training has been going through a renaissance for the ADF – with training deployments to Malaysia and Thailand growing in popularity in recent years – the news comes as the first time it has been conducted as an integral part of infantry training.

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The course took advantage of the air mobility provided by two of 5th Aviation Regiment’s CH-47 Chinook helicopters, airlifting the officers north from Townsville's Lavarack Barracks to the Tully training area. 

Over the course of a fortnight, the jungle operations package taught students to integrate with non-infantry functions such as combat engineer search teams.

School of Infantry instructor Captain Michael Jack said the activity was the culmination point for the course, designed to pit students against the most challenging of conditions.

“In Nnorth Queensland, we have access to the jungle environment, which is complex due to the vegetation and the concealment,” CAPT Jack said. 

“It allowed students to conduct lessons, learn from these lessons and apply the knowledge … preparing them for their future appointment as infantry platoon commanders in their battalions.”

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Commanding Officer of School of Infantry Lieutenant Colonel James Smith said the significant redevelopment of this course better prepared lieutenants for command than ever before. 

“Students have tested themselves in a range of environments,” LTCOL Smith said. 

“They’ve needed to develop their quick appreciation skills and make decisions under pressure. This takes resilience and mental and physical fitness. 

“Our training is tough, but it mirrors the demands of command in conditions they may well find themselves fighting in, in future conflicts.” 

The deployment proved popular with the cohort, with participant Lieutenant Patrick Omodei of 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, saying he enjoyed applying his knowledge to a difference training environment. 

“The jungle environment affords a number of new considerations that we have to take into account,” LT Omodei said. 

“We’ll apply this knowledge in our future operations as infantry platoon commanders.”

Many of the officers have now moved onto the Mechanised Regimental Officer Course with the School of Armour before returning to their battalions as qualified infantry platoon commanders. 

New infantry officers take to the Queensland jungle
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