Soldiers from the 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment’s Reconnaissance, Snipers and Surveillance Platoon practised the skills of being 'invisible' and not being heard on Exercise Wolf Crawl.
Held in the dense scrub of the Canungra Field Training Area from February 15-21, the exercise aimed to develop standard operating procedures for reconnaissance patrols.
Insertion, infiltration, conduct, exfiltration and extraction are the five phases of a reconnaissance patrol.
The platoon’s mission was to close with the enemy and gain vital intelligence without being seen or heard, while supporting other infantry platoons training in the area.
Sergeant Lawrance Hua said the patrol commanders and soldiers were exposed to the full planning cycle during the exercise.
“Once planned, the outputs were practised and tested on the ground in a full mission profile,” he said.
Sergeant Hua outlined what was required for the platoon to be as effective as possible in its mission.
“Seamless autonomy with clear, concise communication and team cohesion are vital to the effectiveness of our team,” he said.
“We essentially have to remain invisible, while focussing on masking our thermal signature on the ground from thermal devices and drones.
“The team also needs to remain mobile so we can organically lift our patrols and keep pace with the infantry units we support.”
Sergeant Hua said the soldiers were receptive to the training, and gained a deeper insight into how the team integrated with other elements on operations.
He said the Reconnaissance, Snipers, and Surveillance Platoon was a popular career choice for many young soldiers in the battalion.
“Many infantry soldiers will strive towards becoming a reconnaissance patrolman or sniper,” he said.
“Generally speaking, it’s the physically and mentally fit, intelligent, motivated and open-minded soldiers who are best suited for the job.”