RFSU on the look-out during Exercise NORTHERN SHIELD 2015
23 September 2015
Troops from the Army's Regional Force Surveillance Units (RFSU) have played an active part in Exercise NORTHERN SHIELD with observation tasks in North West Australia recently.
The Pilbara Regiment and Northern Force (NORFORCE) troops concentrated in Exmouth from mid to late September to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance activities in order to provide overarching situational awareness for the exercise and operational information to follow-on forces.
The observers comprised local reservists with a unique knowledge of the area who were able to respond in a timely manner.
Corporal James Woods, a patrol commander with NORFORCE, led a small team as part of the exercise scenario.
"I was in charge of a six-man patrol and we were tasked to identify some unusual activities that may have been present in the Exmouth area as part of the Exercise Northern Shield scenario," Corporal Woods said.
"We conducted reconnaissance and surveillance from an observation post and this helped to provide information to the Commander," he said.
Exercise NORTHERN SHIELD provided an opportunity to bring together troops from various RFSU units to work cohesively to complete the task.
"It's been a great experience to see troops from NORFORCE and the Pilbara Regiment work together," Corporal Woods said.
"The relationship is excellent, we teach each other different skills and learn how each other operate and succeed in what we are tasked to do," he said.
Regional Force Surveillance Units are located in remote areas of Australia where the ADF can project capability.
Captain Alex Havas, C Troop Commander with the Pilbara Regiment, said exercises such as NORTHERN SHIELD provide great opportunities for soldiers to showcase their skills within their local environment.
"It's important to draw on the knowledge of local soldiers, who provide excellent knowledge on the local landscape," Captain Havas said.
"The more practice the troops can obtain in excelling in their craft is a great thing, ensuring the capability is constantly evolving. I enjoy training the team and seeing how they demonstrate their skills in the field," he said.
Exercise Northern Shield is an Australian Defence Force (ADF) training activity where high-readiness forces deploy quickly to North Western Australia in response to a simulated security threat.