After months of domestic support operations, soldiers from the 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, (8/9RAR) have returned to their core infantry skills on Exercise Ram Strike. 

Regimental Sergeant Major Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Michael Carroll said the exercise, conducted in the Enoggera Close Training Area last month, was an important first for many of the junior soldiers. 

“It has been a challenge maintaining our core infantry skills over the past two years while supporting domestic operations,” WO1 Carroll said. 

“This is about us getting back to basics, fostering our skills and then deepening them. 

“There have been many steep learning curves.”

Captain Nick Maguire said soldiers from 8/9RAR had to overcome enemy role-players and also consider logistics. 

“The aim of Ram Strike was to test the command teams from section to company level within a battalion setting,” Captain Maguire said. 

“This saw the section, platoon and company commanders faced with the challenge of manoeuvring forces up Enoggera Hill within a complex micro-terrain and a contested environment.

“Simultaneously, it challenged the section 2ICs, platoon sergeants and company sergeant majors with the complexities of pushing ammunition and resources up the hill, while conducting battlefield clearance and back-loading casualties and enemy combatants back down the hill.”

Private Ethan Battye scans the Enoggera Close Training Area for enemy role-players during Exercise Ram Strike. Photo: Private Jacob Hilton

Captain Maguire said the young soldiers of 8/9RAR performed well under pressure. 

“The soldiers performed to an excellent standard in the face of what has been a highly disruptive year for the battalion,” he said. 

“For many of the soldiers, this has been their first tactical exercise in 2021 due to our commitment to support domestic and international operations. 

“The biggest win for the battalion has been seeing the great performances from the soldiers and the junior non-commissioned officers within the field environment.”

8/9RAR will now go on to form the basis of the 7th Combat Brigade’s Warfighter Exercise Battle Group during training in 2022. 

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