Exercise Diamond Walk has been a crucial exercise developing the employment of supporting equipment and using new communication tactics thanks to changes in the enabling units of 7 Combat Brigade. 

Held at Shoalwater Bay Training Area, the exercise saw a new refuelling vehicle and smarter communications masking to ensure the infantry from 6 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, and the Main Battle Tanks from 2/14 Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) had support needed to win the battle.

Private Luke Hinton, from 7 Combat Service Support Battalion (7 CSSB), made sure the tanks from 2/14 Light Horse Regiment had enough fuel to conduct their training through the field use of a new HX 77 fuel tanker.

“We are a mechanised Army, and without fuel you lose your mechanised capability,” he said.

“This truck is a new fuel asset which is a lot more user-friendly, and it’s good to test it in the field and see how it goes.” 

The new HX 77 fuel trucks came into service this year, replacing the Mack fuel trucks.

Private Hinton said he was impressed with how the new trucks fared in comparison to the older vehicle. 

“They can provide flow out of two hose reels at about 300 litres per minute, which is very good considering the old Mack trucks could only supply about 180 litres of flow,” he said. 

“They are really good for giving people quick fuel on the go.”

Lance Corporal Matthew Wood, of 7 CSSB, said he was impressed with the ability of the HX 77 fuel trucks to hold 18,000 litres of diesel, compared to 11,500 in the Mack trucks.   

“The capability is bigger, and it’s quicker to refuel other call signs.

“We can unload this in about 20 minutes, maybe less, and then get out of there as quick as possible.” 

The 7 Combat Signal Regiment (7 CSR) were also hard at work during Exercise Diamond Walk, testing a new way to hide communications equipment in plain sight. 

Lieutenant Callan Robinson from 7 CSR said one of their key tests was trying to make a communication node supporting headquarters look unremarkable. 

“We have tested how we can reduce our signature and make the signature of Brigade Forward look indistinguishable from other call signs in the battle space,” he said.

“In the past we have used satellite communications, but they are large bearers, they are quite different to what other units have.

“By moving satellite equipment away from Brigade Forward we look like all other call signs on the battle space.”

Like most units in 7 Combat Brigade, many members of 7 CSR were experiencing their first field exercise.