Combined arms at full effect
The Australian Army’s live-fire exercises are bound to get the blood pumping, and this year’s Exercise Chong Ju was no exception. Held at Victoria’s Puckapunyal Training Area on 8-9 May 2019, the annual exercise successfully showcased Army’s joint combined arms capabilities.
Spectators witnessed the power of Army as a versatile and decisive force – observing a firepower display of a number of weapon systems before a combined arms team quick attack demonstration that included M1A1 Abrams tanks, Australian light armoured vehicles (ASLAVs), a M777A2 howitzer and a Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter working together in support of each other and the infantry.
The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, AO, DSC, MVO stated that this year’s exercise demonstrated the Army’s preparedness for operational deployments and showcased Army’s capability to defence industry.
“This exercise is an opportunity for Defence leaders and defence industry to see how the ADF systems work in unison in a potential operational scenario.
The exercise also provided staff cadets of the Royal Military College - Duntroon an opportunity to experience the breadth of roles open to them upon graduation later this year.
“It is an exciting opportunity to showcase the excellent capabilities and combined arms training afforded to these soldiers and officers,” Lieutenant General Burr said.
Also at Exercise Chong Ju was Army’s Head of Land Capability, Major General Kathryn Toohey, AM, CSC, who stated that continual innovation and strong partnerships are key to ensure Army is able to meet the challenges of Accelerated Warfare.
“Increasingly Army is contributing to joint effects in all warfighting domains, being land, air, sea, space and cyber.”
“Exercise Chong Ju provides a great opportunity to demonstrate to our partners across Defence, other government agencies and industry, the lethality of Army capability.
“The demonstration is based on a Combat Team live-fire activity, which is the Army’s basic building block for combat manoeuvre,” Major General Toohey said.
Commandant of the Combined Arms Training Centre (CATC), Colonel Richard Parker, was impressed with the conduct of this year’s exercise.
“CATC is proud to lead this event, which was a successful display of Army’s joint combined arms capabilities and firepower. We have shown how Army integrates its capabilities to be ready for current and future warfighting,” he said.
For Colonel Parker, the professionalism of Army’s soldiers made all the difference.
“Our people are our competitive advantage. On Exercise Chong Ju we saw our people professionally operating advanced technology as they’ve been trained to do. They are physically, morally and intellectually prepared for operational deployment at any time, wherever they are needed.”
The next generation of Army’s officers attended Exercise Chong Ju as an important part of their training continuum. Travelling from the Royal Military College – Duntroon (RMC-D) in Canberra, staff cadets were able to watch the capabilities they’ll soon be a part of operating.
“While it’s great to learn about the equipment and vehicles Army use in a classroom, it doesn’t compare to seeing these capabilities work together, seeing the firepower and feeling its percussive effects of live fire,” Staff Cadet Natalie Johnston said.
“It gives a unique insight into the complexities of combined arms fire and the art of manoeuvre on the battlefield.
“Not only does this experience enable us to decide which corps will be the best fit, it will also make us better planners, seeing for ourselves the effect each capability brings on the enemy.”
Exercise Chong Ju is named after a battle in North Korea in 1950 when the Third Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, supported by tanks and artillery, attacked and captured a large North Korean defensive line during their northward advance to the Yalu River.
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