Preparing Aussie troops for operations
6 September 2013
When Australian Defence Force (ADF) members first enter the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO), they go through a short refresher course called Reception, Staging, Onward movement and Integration (RSO&I) to ensure they are fully prepared to start their deployment.
The three-day course is held at Al Minhad Air Base (AMAB) in the United Arab Emirates, which is where members of the ADF first enter the MEAO.
The course is run by a small team from 39 Personnel Support Battalion (39PSB), which is a tri-Service unit based at Randwick Barracks in Sydney.
During RSO&I, participants are run through briefs designed to familiarise them with their new environment and conduct refresher training in Care of Battle Casualty (CBC) techniques, weapons handling, explosive ordinance detection and the sizing and wearing of combat body armour.
RSO&I Warrant Officer, Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Geoff Turner said the CBC training was conducted using realistic scenarios to ensure personnel could perform life saving first aid while under pressure on the battlefield.
“We cover off on a number of injuries which, without initial treatment, could result in death,” WO2 Turner said.
“We have an old saying: ‘the person who applies the first bandage is the one that saves the life.’ That means that it’s the man or woman next to you on the battlefield that’s going to save your life, so they’d better be prepared,” he said
Flight Sergeant (FSGT) Dannial Saba runs the Explosive Ordinance Device (EOD) identification training, and said the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) was still very present in Afghanistan.
“We run personnel through some practical examples of IED constructs including switches and main charges, and show them what to look for,” he said.
“This training is important because most of the scenarios we run through on the range have come from real life experiences. We show ADF personnel how to mitigate the risk posed by any of the current IED threats they might encounter in theatre,” FSGT Saba said.
The RSO&I course is a prerequisite for all personnel deploying to the MEAO.