Australian Navy tries gaining control of port near Townsville

An Army unit practised clearing a complex urban environment in Townsville while combating enemy role-players to seize control of port facilities.

Exercise Septimus Stride, a company-level urban operations exercise, including the 1st Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment as participants.

As part of its training for the next Sea Series of exercises, Major Laura Fitzpatrick said the unit conducted training in settings other than typical ground combat.

“We’re progressing our training from more fundamental areas involving operating urban environments, civilians, and maintaining key infrastructure to more complex areas involving the basic soldiering skill set,” Major Fitzpatrick stated.

The critical challenge in this scenario is taking control of the port while maintaining the infrastructure.

“This is a fantastic transition exercise where we have soldiers coming straight off Exercise Brolga Run with two weeks of challenging conventional warfighting, then refitting to fight, and then at the port completing the first phase for this exercise within 48 hours.

“This simulates the natural progression of defeating an enemy, from the field to urban environments, while also testing personnel resiliency.”

According to Major Fitzpatrick, the port was a fantastic location for training since it simulated seizing control of critical infrastructure from a strategic standpoint.

In 48 hours, “more than 400 people and 40 military vehicles completed complex tactical actions at a working port with assistance from Port of Townsville staff,” she added.

The Port of Townsville crew was massive assistance in making this happen.

The security manager, Dwayne Morgan, helped plan the event and participated in the role-playing portion.

“I portrayed a trustworthy insider that the fictitious foe had hired. The military requested access to the port and inside knowledge before the assault, according to Mr Morgan.

“Coming from a military experience, I can appreciate the need for training in this setting, and we were delighted to assist in making that happen. Being a part of it was enjoyable.


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