Years of overseas service have transformed special forces unit 2nd Commando Regiment into one of the Australian Army’s most experienced units.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the unit has undergone many changes since it changed its name from the 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.

Soldiers from the 2nd Commando Regiment rehearse vehicle interdiction techniques during counterterrorism training at Point Cook, Victoria, May 2019. Photo: Corporal Kyle Genner

Sergeant L said the unit had grown and adapted in every area, from equipment to training facilities, to suit its changing mission profiles since he arrived in 2006.

“Initially, there were a lot of changes in the gear we were using due to our experiences on Operation Slipper [the war in Afghanistan],” Sergeant L said.

“We learnt a lot of lessons throughout that era and needed to change our weapons, body armour and ammunition, among other things, to suit our mission profiles.

“The unit went from young to very senior, with a lot of experienced commandos, in a short timeframe because of the multiple deployments we were doing in Afghanistan.

“We’ve transitioned that knowledge, experience and equipment back into the domestic counterterrorism mission profiles we conduct as part of 2nd Commando Regiment’s hostage recovery and counterterrorism role.”

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Soldiers from the 2nd Commando Regiment conduct a room clearance through the Special Forces Training Facility at Holsworthy Barracks, New South Wales, during counterterrorism training in May 2019. Photo: Corporal Sebastian Beurich

The training for those roles, as well as general commando training, is conducted at the Special Forces Training Facility (SFTF) – a collection of ranges that has grown alongside 2nd Commando Regiment and evolved to meet contemporary demands.

Range manager Sergeant J said the facility, originally comprised of 10 ranges, now had 43 ranges spread across the Holsworthy Training Area and encompassed the hostage recovery and counterterrorism role as well as the commando’s “war roles”.

“The SFTF comprises two training areas: the indoor range complex, which gives us the ability to conduct the full spectrum of our responsibilities within the CT space,” Sergeant J said.

“It consists of multiple ranges which can be linked together to make one large live-fire range – which is unique to this facility.

“The second encompasses the external areas, which allow us to conduct training ranging from breaching, long-term surveillance and sniper engagements through to urban warfighting using live or non-lethal man-marking munitions.”

Read the full Army News feature here.