Commanding Officer, 2RAR Lieutenant Colonel M.B. Bassingthwaighte, DSM

Commanding Officer, 2RAR
Lieutenant Colonel M.B. Bassingthwaighte, DSM

The Battalion commenced 2015 continuing its consolidation of foundation warfighting skills and the progression of the Amphibious Ready Element Landing Force (ARE LF) capability. The main effort for 2015 was to meet the required standards for certification as the ARE LF.

Both A, B and Support Coys started the year with a MILSKILLS diagnostic exercise.

 This served to govern the focus areas for individual Coys in the following ten week live fire and field training program designed to progressing from individual skills up to company level missions.

Support Coy platoons have been extremely busy solidifying their specific subject matter expertise, culminating this initial training period with the successful conduct of Ex BUSU LANDING at Townsend Island, SWBTA. The training opportunity provided by this exercise was excellent and the full mission amphibious profiles to complete the activity were extremely valuable.

Deploying as an entire sub unit was somewhat novel however proved effective in achieving the required live fire and METL certifications prior to the upcoming SEA Series of exercises.

Admin Coy notably provided support to all these activities in the usual fashion whilst still managing to undertake their own training including a short field deployment of the remaining maintenance assets. From April onwards the Battalion stepped into a series of SEA exercises in order to prepare for certification as the Army’s Amphibious Ready Group. This commenced with Ex SEA SABRE on board HMAS CHOULES and saw the 0B HQ element afloat, whilst 0A conducted its function from Lavarack Barracks.

RSM 2RAR WO1 T. Morris

RSM 2RAR
WO1 T. Morris

In May the Battalion assisted HMAS CANBERRA in the conduct of the ships work up period in order for her to be certified and then rolled rapidly into EX TALISMAN SABRE. This saw the Battalion as a whole conduct Amphibious operations. This was a great opportunity with the Battalion integrating with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. In addition, it was first the time we had operated from separate platforms (USS Bonhomme Richard and HMAS CHOULES).

The culminating exercise for the year was in September/October on EX SEA RAIDER. This was the certification exercise for the ARE and resulted in a Coy sized element being deemed ready for any operations.

The final major Battalion activity for the year was the RAR birthday parade held on Monday 23 November. This was on the 70th birthday of the RAR and for only the second time in history three Battalions of the RAR (1, 2 and 3) were on parade together.

It also saw the presentation and dedication/consecration of new colours to both 2 and 3RAR.

“Second to None”

LTCOL Michael Bassingthwaighte, DSM
Commanding Officer
WO1 Trent Morris
Regimental Sergeant Major