US Marines embedded with the 1RAR Battle Group in action during the battle to clear Line Creek Junction during Ex Brolga Strike




NO sooner had 3Bde assumed responsibility as the “on call” Brigade in the Australian Army than it deployed on exercise to Shoalwater Bay.
Exercise Talisman Sabre was officially opened on June 29, and 3Bde became the Ready Brigade on July 1.
The Brigade was primed and ready to tackle Ex Talisman Sabre, having completed the primary Combined Arms Training Activity – Exercise Brolga Strike – leading up to Ex TS. COMD 3Bde BRIG Chris Field, speaking after the culminating livefire assault of Ex Brolga Strike, said the Brigade had been training for about 18 months to be properly prepared for the testing Ex Talisman Sabre this month.
“The Brolga series of exercises began last year – crawl, walk, run activities, leading up to Brolga Strike,” he said.
During Ex Brolga Strike, a company of US Marines – Lucky Company – was embedded in the Brigade, as a sub-unit in 1RAR, and it will remain as a fully-integrated company in the Brigade throughout Ex Talisman Sabre. The 3Bde supporting Reserve brigades – 11Bde and 13Bde – will provide the 800-member Battle Group Cannan.
Also bolstering 3Bde will be a company of NZ Army soldiers and a battalion from the US Army based in Alaska.
BRIG Field said the extra personnel would swell 3Bde to about 5000 members in the field at Ex Talisman Sabre.

Crew in an M1A1 Abrams tank pause during the final phase of Ex Brolga Strike  Photo: Rob Anderson

Smoke settles across the battlefield in the chill morning air as 3Bde units assault the final objective with infantry, combat engineers,artillery and armoured corps assets supported by air strikes      Photo: Rob Anderson

CO 4Regt RAA Alwyn Payne with CEO Townsville Legacy Club Nicole Hayes      Photo: Rob Anderson

He said morale in the Brigade was very high at the conclusion of Ex Brolga Strike.
The integration of combined arms within the Brigade and from supporting agencies such as the RAAF, 6Bde, 7Bde and 17Bde was very effective.
He said the addition of 2Cav Regt to 3Bde during the past two years, in particular, had really made a difference to the Brigade’s capability.
“Those Armoured Corps soldiers bring a new mindset to the Brigade, which complements our infantry soldiers, our engineers, artillery and logisticians,” he said.

Co-operation between the Brigade’s units was “fantastic”. “We work together as a combined arms family,” he said.
The soldiers participating in Ex Brolga Strike had a great hit out.
“We have worked to keep them busy, but not exhausted,” he said.
“The engineers built a bridge, they also blew up a bridge, artillery got to fire plenty of rounds and our armoured units have shaken out.
“I think we’re in great shape to go down to Talisman Sabre and work with our coalition partners.”

COMD 3Bde BRIG Chris Field

CPL John Webb 2Cav Regt during the live fire phase

LT Gordon (left) , CPL Bitu and TPR Proser

The view out the back of a 5Avn Regt CH-47-Chinook helicopter flying over Townsville en route to the Townsville Field trainig Area at High Range