Sce­nario mim­ics real life

Townsville Bulletin - - Defence Force - Emily Mac­don­ald De­fence re­porter

LIMBS blown off and ter­ri­fied Afghan vil­lagers are all part of the highly re­al­is­tic sce­nar­ios pre­par­ing Townsville sol­diers for an up­com­ing de­ploy­ment.

More than 700 sol­diers, pre­dom­i­nantly from Townsville 2nd Bat­tal­ion Royal Aus­tralian Reg­i­ment, are e x p e c t e d t o d e p l o y t o Oruz­gan prov­ince, Afghanistan in the mid­dle of the year as Men­tor­ing Task Force 3.

C o m m a n d i n g O f f i c e r 2RAR and MTF-3 Lieu­tenant-Colonel Chris Smith said sol­diers had al­ready been pre­par­ing for the de­ploy­ment for three months and the cur­rent se­ries of sce­nar­ios was de­signed to pre­pare them for the pos­si­bil­ity of mass ca­su­al­ties.

A civil con­trac­tor or­gan­ised for real am­putees slathered in grue­some make-up and peo­ple of Afghan ori­gin to par­tic­i­pate in the sce­nario to add to the re­al­ism.

LT-Col Smith said train­ing ac­tiv­i­ties such as this pre­pared sol­diers for what was to come.

‘‘ I think it’s go­ing to be very dan­ger­ous,’’ he said.

‘‘ I think most Aus­tralians un­der­stand that we’ve taken sig­nif­i­cant ca­su­al­ties in the last cou­ple of years, we’ve had quite a few fa­tal­i­ties.

‘‘ My sol­diers are aware of the like­li­hood of their own in­jury and the pos­si­bil­ity of death is cer­tainly in the back of their minds.

‘‘ What they do un­der­stand is their train­ing and equip­ment is first class. There’s no doubt about that – they un­der­stand ev­ery­thing is be­ing done to pro­tect them from the dan­gers in Afghanistan. But they also un­der­stand the en­emy in Afghanistan. He cer­tainly is a good one, he’s will­ing to fight.’’

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