Ready for the fight
T O W N S V I L L E ’ S H i g h Range was transformed into a war zone yesterday as local troops put their skills to the test ahead of deployment to one of the most v o l a t i l e r e g i o ns i n t he world.
A task force led by 2RAR, comprising t r oops f r om Townsville’s 3rd Brigade a l o n g wi t h u n i t s f r o m across Australia, is prepari n g f o r d e p l o y me n t t o Afghanistan this year as part of Mentoring Task Force Three ( MTF-3).
More than 700 soldiers will t a k e p a r t i n E x e r c i s e Afghan Black over the next month, involving a rigorous training program designed to replicate conditions in Afghanistan.
The contingent of troops yesterday trained under simulated battle-field conditions using live ammu- nition to help ease the transition when they head off.
MTF-3 are set to provide ongoing mentoring and support to the Afghan National Army’s 4th Brigade in the Uruzgan Province.
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 the deployment involved an increased emphasis on mentoring Afghan Commanders.
‘‘ This provides an opportunity for the guys to gain confidence in each other and in the team,’’ he said.
‘‘ The exercise is all about bringing t ogether s mall teams such as engineers, infantry and the armoured vehicles and their crews, so they are ready to work together to mentor Afghan Commanders.’’
Lt-Col Smith s ai d t he troops were jumping at the chance to get involved.
FORCE: Ben Braithwaite and Tim Coulter prepare for deployment