Page 86 - Australian Defence Magazine September 2018
P. 86

RIGHT: A combined force consisting of soldiers from the 7th Brigade and US Marines clear Raspberry Creek urban training facility of ‘Red Force’ enemy in a dawn raid
BELOW: Both Tiger and Taipan performed well during Hamel this year.
Mission in Lebanon, Ms Lyndall Sachs, who was present during Operation Ramp, the evacuation of 5,300 Australian nation- als and 1,300 approved foreign nationals from the country in 2006.
“It was good to have that whole of gov- ernment representation, to talk about what a Head of Mission might expect from a military force who are supporting DFAT on those operations,” BRIG James said.
Air support for Hamel
Besides the traditional Close Air Sup- port operations provided by the RAAF’s Hornet and Super Hornet strike aircraft, which have long been a feature of Hamel
exercises in the past, the 2018 event in- cluded the Growler’s electronic warfare capability and the Spartan’s intra-theatre airlift capability for the first time during the series.
In Hamel 2018, the Spartans actually operated from the austere airfields with- in the SWBTA in direct support of the Land force.
“The C-27Js supported the ground forces in a number of ways: they inserted Special Forces patrols, which was a key to informing our ground manoeuvre, they conducted aerial resupply missions which included support from Army’s 176 Air Dispatch Squadron and they also con-
ducted a number of tactical Air-Land op- erations, which is picking up troops and inserting them into the battlefield by land- ing on unprepared runways,” BRIG James said to ADM.
“There is no question that the C-27J is a great Air Force platform and they are a terrif- ic enabler for our ground force commanders.”
The Growlers performed Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) operations in support of the amphibious landing, but Hamel was also about fostering an under- standing from a Joint Force perspective of its capabilities and support it can provide in a contested electromagnetic spectrum environment.
“A key focus for us is understanding what capability they provide, but also to make sure we have the right C4I systems to integrate them into a broader Joint Force manoeuvre space,” BRIG James added. “Growler and the Joint Task Force Headquarters came through in spades.”
The Beersheba Legacy
Brigadier James credits Army’s recently- completed restructuring under Plan Beersheba for significantly enabling the success of Hamel 2018. He says that one of the key outcomes of Beersheba is how it has enabled Army to focus its efforts on the units and capabilities that need to be held at the high states of readiness re- quired to fulfil its obligations to the ADF and to Government.
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