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Sappers return to live-fire training

Sappers return to live-fire training
Sapper Chloe Leifels, of the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment, moves to place a Bangalore torpedo explosive charge onto an obstacle during Exercise Diamond Walk. Photo: Sergeant Karl Booth

The combat engineers have taken part in a live-fire exercise conducted at Shoalwater Bay Training Area.

The combat engineers have taken part in a live-fire exercise conducted at Shoalwater Bay Training Area.

The 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment (2CER) has participated in a combined live-fire training exercise, supporting 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) as part of Exercise Diamond Walk. 

The 7th Combat Engineer Squadron (7CE Sqn) supported explosive breaching of obstacles with improvised Bangalores and in-service explosives at section level.

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The sappers detonated charges on obstacles, enabling Abrams tanks from the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) and M113AS4s from 6RAR to pass through and secure the objective. 

Officer Commanding 7CE Sqn Major Ian MacDougall said the exercise provided personnel with realistic operational experience. 

“Each of the obstacles that supported the breach training were constructed by the combat engineers to create a realistic training scenario for a combat-team assault onto an objective,” he said.

During the live-fire exercises, 7CE Sqn provided small arms to Army platforms, including Abrams tanks, M777 howitzers, 84mm Carl Gustav weapons, automatic grenade launchers and Javelin anti-armour missiles. 

“During the culminating full-mission profile, 7CE Sqn overcame mechanical obstacles, created lanes for infantry and tanks and supported the combat team clearance team,” MAJ MacDougall added. 

Exercise Diamond Walk marked the first time 7CE Sqn deployed a complete mechanised combat engineer squadron since receiving an allocation of M113AS4 vehicles in early 2019.

Sapper Hayden Sampson said the exercise was the largest he had been involved in since joining three years ago.  

“It was great to get back on the tools and back into explosive breaching, especially working with infantry and showing them our capability and vice versa,” he said.

“Some of our Bangalores created an eight-metre lane without us even having to leave our M113AS4 after we had initiated our explosives, allowing the tanks to roll-on through.

“Obviously, speed is key and they can just punch through without hesitation.”

2CER has actively supported military operations in recent years, contributing to Operation Bushfire Assist, Operation NSW Flood Assist and Operation COVID-19 Assist.  

“We still have a long way to go in refining our combat engineering skills,” MAJ MacDougall said. 

“Combined-arms exercises such as Diamond Walk are invaluable and offer us the best opportunity to integrate and provide the world-class effects we promise to deliver.”

[Related: Australian soldiers join war fighting exercise in the US]

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