Army is growing the number of enablers to improve the balance with our combat capabilities. Combat enablers form an important part of our ability to operate in varied situations with elements of the joint force, whole-of-government contributions, allies, and other partners. The increase in our combat enabler’s capability will occur at the same time that we evolve the structure of our infantry battalions.
The changes to our infantry battalions increase enablers and training support roles, while trimming some other areas of the current force. The new structure of infantry battalions will include the transfer of armoured personnel carriers (APC) and protected mobility vehicles (PMV) to provide an integral mounted capability and enhanced protected mobility. The 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (2 RAR), will remain as Army’s specialist amphibious infantry battalion.
The PMVs will be received by the 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (5 RAR), 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR), and the 8th/9th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (8/9 RAR).
An infantry battalion in each brigade will receive APCs from its co-located armoured cavalry regiment lift squadron. In the 1st Brigade, the APCs will transfer to the 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (7 RAR); in the 3rd Brigade to the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR), and in the 7th Brigade to the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR). The provision of the APC is an interim measure to enable Army’s transition to Project Land 400 Phase 3 infantry fighting vehicle capability. This is a structural change to support the successful implementation of Land 400 Phase 3.
The introduction of the APC and PMV into infantry battalions will provide greater firepower and targeting capability down to the section level. The infantry will continue to form part of an enhanced combat system with greater situational awareness and fighting potential. The infantry are now able to own, control and employ their vehicles which provide a significant advantage as they can fight dismounted or as part of an integrated, protected, networked system to survive on the modern battlefield.
The Army provides a significant contribution to the Australian Defence Force joint amphibious capability. This contribution will see the dedicated re-rolling of 2 RAR as a specialist amphibious infantry battalion. 2 RAR is the Army’s lead for generating a pre-landing force in support of a combat brigade.
The rebalancing of the Army’s capability is not about removing people from service. It is the Army’s way of aligning our establishment with the capability development opportunities from the Defence White Paper 2016. This is a time of opportunity for our people to explore new training and employment opportunities within the Army. Over the past decade there has been an increased demand for high skill and high rank positions of particular categories across the Army. Enhancing our force structure will result in further growth of our people.