In a demonstration of their amphibious capability, the latest generation of Army vehicles has been driven on board HMAS Adelaide via landing craft off the coast of North Queensland.
An Army Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle, two Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicle-Light and two High Mobility Tactical-Extenda vehicles were transported from Cowley Beach to the ship as part of joint training and interoperability trials during Exercise Sea Wader.
Exercise Director and Commander Landing Forces Colonel Kim Gilfillan said the land and sea trials provided the Australian Amphibious Force (AAF) with world-class projection capabilities.
“The integration of new ADF land vehicles with the Landing Helicopter Dock Adelaide provides a step-up in our amphibious force projection capabilities and our capacity to meet the challenges of increased strategic competition,” Colonel Gilfillan said.
“In addition to the integration of new capabilities, the joint training will ensure the AAF is well positioned to respond to a range of contingencies, and in particular to provide support to Australia and our regional partners ahead of the 2020-21 high-risk weather season.”
Operational test director for the vehicle embarkation trials, Commander Tim Watson, said the aim of the exercise was to test and evaluate the vehicles in a real-world environment.
“We are aiming to validate that the vehicles can operate in their intended conditions,” he said.
“This also provides an opportunity for Navy and Army personnel to work together and test our interoperability in a variety of conditions.”
The landing force included combat, combat support and logistic elements from across the 1st Division and Forces Command.
The joint training during Sea Wader was designed to ensure forces could get ashore by day and night, and in adverse weather conditions.
“The relationship Army has with Navy is excellent and working with HMAS Adelaide is essential to our ability to provide safe and effective joint capabilities to the government,” Colonel Gilfillan said.
Earlier phases of Sea Wader included deck landing training with Royal Singapore Air Force CH-47 Chinook helicopter crews followed by training with helicopter crews from Army’s 1st Aviation Regiment, based in Darwin, and 5th Aviation Regiment from Townsville.