The skills of Army reservists have been in demand in recent years after devastating fires and floods across the nation. 

As Exercise Talisman Sabre ramps up, reservists are integrating with regular Army units to put their skills to the test in a combat environment. 

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), and reservists from across the 2nd Division conducted the drills as an initial training activity designed to forge a cohesive and lethal infantry company before hitting the ground running. 

Reservist Private Will Yet Foy, of the 9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment, travelled from Brisbane to work alongside comrades from 1RAR and enhance his skills as an infantry solider. 

“It’s been excellent working with the full-time guys,” Private Yet Foy said. 

“To come here and work alongside them is a really good opportunity to learn the skills and drills they practise every day.

“I’ve really enjoyed everything we’ve learnt so far and I’m looking forward to the ‘crawl, walk, run’ style training as we step it up over the next couple of days and piece together all of those things we have learnt.”

1RAR Section Commander Corporal Cody Delangen said he was happy to see the reserve soldiers’ eagerness to learn and watch his junior leaders step up as mentors.  

Corporal Karl Peak from the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, with members of the 9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment, and the 25th/29th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment, during the integration activity. Photo: Corporal Brandon Grey

“Our section commanders have been teaching lessons and the senior diggers have taken on a lot of responsibility assisting, engaging with the reservists and giving them advice,” Corporal Delangen said.

“Coming from both sides with reserves and full time, we’re working together really well, especially with urban clearance, which is such a complex task.

“It’s always good to get out there with the reserves, but it’s also a good opportunity to hone our teaching abilities too.”  

Soldiers will continue to work together across Battle Group Coral’s terrain. 

1RAR Platoon Commander Lieutenant Brendan Smith said it was an important opportunity for the soldiers to understand why integration training is so valuable. 

“I began my career as a reservist and there was nothing we liked better than coming to train with full-time soldiers and getting the benefit of their knowledge and experience, so that’s what we’re trying to provide,” Lieutenant Smith said. 

“The reserves have come with a really mature and professional attitude. They’re picking up the lessons quickly, their drills are already looking a lot smoother and by the end of the week we will be a strong company.” 

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Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021