Private Lucas Hinselwood never thought that just two years into his infantry career he would be in Hawaii for the world’s largest maritime exercise, Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022.

Just one year out of training, Private Hinselwood is instructing urban close combat training for his counterparts from Indonesia, Mexico, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea.

Private Hinselwood was not nervous though, having trained for this all year with his company at 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, the Australian Army’s dismounted infantry minor tactics specialists.

“It’s a great opportunity for me, not just to work with other nations, but to practise our instruction skills to take back home,” Private Hinselwood said.

“We have learnt that a lot of our partner nation’s tactics are fairly similar to ours.

“It’s important to build on our relationships with each other so if push comes to shove, we know that we can work side by side without any dramas at all.”

RIMPAC marked another first for the rifleman, who had the opportunity to experience life aboard a ship in transit to RIMPAC on landing helicopter dock HMAS Canberra.

Between adjusting to sea and getting a little lost on board, he enjoyed training in a new environment alongside his counterparts from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, and of course, the renowned Navy chef’s food.

Private Hinselwood said his experience in the military so far had been unreal. Having moved from a management career trading tyres, he found himself training alongside new Tongan friends from His Majesty’s Armed Forces.

In just 12 months, he has proudly worn his uniform in three countries, including Afghanistan for the withdrawal of Australian troops. 

“The best part of being in the Army so far has been to travel and train with other nations like we have been here on RIMPAC,” Private Hinselwood said.

“It’s definitely everything I signed up for and more.

“I am absolutely honoured to be working with our foreign partners and representing Australia, being able to show our professionalism, how we work and have a good laugh at the same time.”