In today’s world of irregular warfare, understanding how to navigate and fight in an urban environment is more crucial than ever. 

Exercise Carabaroo, run by 7th Brigade for the first time, developed those skills with troops from the United States, Australia and the Philippines. 

The participants conducted multilateral urban warfare training to develop drills, enhance interoperability and increase lethality within the urban environment. 

The three-week exercise began with live-fire close combat range shooting before progressing through a series of urban operations training serials at both the Gallipoli Barracks and Shoalwater Bay urban operations training facilities.

Commander 7th Brigade Brigadier Andrew Hocking said the exercise culminated with a coordinated trilateral assault on a fictional urban village under siege by role-playing enemy forces. 

“This all started days ago,” Brigadier Hocking said.

“The team did their planning, battle procedure, rehearsals, flew in using US Marine Corps Ospreys, marched on to the objective and then fought through the urban village as three nations side by side.

“They are all obviously now in the process of learning and listening to each other’s lessons and hopefully getting better by hearing that.

“Carabaroo is about learning from each other, building trust in each other, understanding each other’s different cultures and shared values and then bringing that together in a high-end combat scenario, probably the most complex of them all in urban warfare.”

Lieutenant Colonel Tommy Crosby, an operations officer with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said the urban assault training would have a real effect on their ability to conduct operations in their home country. 

“It’s important for us, especially as our warfare now is a changing environment,” Lieutenant Colonel Crosby said.

“We are now conducting operations in urban areas. Just like what happened in our southern area in the Philippines.

“The training is the best welfare we can give to our men. We really need to enhance our skills, particularly in urban operations. This is the best way that we can get that, from Australia and the United States.

“Carabaroo is about learning from each other, building trust in each other, understanding each other’s different cultures and shared values.”

Training scenarios incorporated the US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey. 

Lieutenant Colonel Brian Grayson, US Marine Rotation Force – Darwin ground combat element commander, said the aircraft was put to good use on Carabaroo.

“The capability for them to land just about anywhere is a capability that allows you to get as close as possible to the objective,” Lieutenant Colonel Grayson said.

“It also has speed that allows you to move there really quickly or to extract pretty quickly.”

Lieutenant Colonel Grayson said he enjoyed working with the Australians on Carabaroo because of their work ethic and positive attitude. 

“Great people to work with, phenomenal field skills and just the ‘mateship’ – the idea that you welcome us with open arms,” he said.

“We’ve taken away a lot of stuff so far that we are going to take back to the United States when we leave.”

Exercise Carabaroo involved more than 360 members from the US Marine Corps, Armed Forces of the Philippines and 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.