Scenario mimics real life
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.’’