Page 131 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 131

Reflections of an Australian Army Exchange Officer
‘Audentes Fortuna Luvat’ (Fortune Favours the Bold). Although there are differences in tactics, policies, procedures and cultures between the British Army and the Australian Army, the fundamentals of profes- sional excellence and core values remain consistent. I have found this especially evident within 7 RIFLES. The relaxed strong, confident and knowledgeable leadership style of Rifles officers and disciplined, lateral thinking and professional Riflemen mirrors their Australian Infantry counterparts.
The opportunity to lead Riflemen over the past 11 months has been a memorable and rewarding experience. Learning from operationally experienced Riflemen, non-commissioned officers and officers has both enhanced and broadened my leadership style and understanding of tactics, techniques and procedures. The operational and exercise tempo within the British Army sets up the precedence of the fighting spirit. Each soldier is trained and willing to deploy at any moment and they take every oppor- tunity to develop their professional repertoire.
I recently deployed to Canada on Ex PRAIRIE STORM, with an opportunity to deploy to Spain on exercise soon. Opportunities to work alongside other nation’s forces and within different training
environments is something unique and not readily available to Reservists in Australia.
From my observations the increased operational tempo within 7 RIFLES has fostered a unique culture. Soldiers and officers are emotionally committed and invested in the unit and each other. This fosters a family like environment that provides many of them a second home. Unit flags, patches and t-shirts are common place within the unit, fostering a unique Esprit de Corps.
Working within the framework of British policy differs from the systems and procedures I am accus- tomed to in the Australian Army. As an Exchange Officer working independently would not have served me well. Instead I sought every opportunity to learn from the strong cohort of supportive officers and non-commissioned officers of 7 RIFLES. My experience as an Australian officer on exchange with 7 RIFLES is and will no doubt remain a highlight of my career. Not only has this experience enhanced my development as an officer, the skills and knowledge I have learnt will benefit my unit, 10/27 RSAR and more broadly the Australian Army.
Lt Joshua Green
         BATUS OPFOR
Platoon Commander’s Perspective
I have had the unique privilege of acting as an OPFOR platoon commander for the TES phase of this year’s Ex PRAIRIE STORM 1 on the rolling prairies of Alberta, Canada. 7 RIFLES contributed a composite platoon made up of Riflemen from across the battalion with command alternating between myself and Lt Josh Green, also from G Company.
We were attached to D Coy 5 RIFLES, providing an extra platoon of dismounts with half operating out of the TCVs and the other half dispersed through the Warriors in the other three platoons. As a light role platoon commander, I learned several important lessons in leadership and tactics which I would not otherwise have had the advantage of learning any other way. It was my first time working with armoured infantry and I had
the added gift of shadowing Lt George Harrison, an armoured infantry platoon commander.
Playing OPFOR gives you a unique perspective an insight into the efficacy of the tactics and procedures that we employ in the British Army. As OPFOR we had several advantages including higher degrees of flexibility allowing us to take more risks, including dispersing our forces in ways we would not as BLUFOR.
Overall, this exercise is a hugely successful example of regular and reservist integration and a great example of how reservists can be used to effectively integrate and contribute to operations, training and other commitments.
Lt Isabella Baldwin
OC 20 Pl, G Coy 7 RIFLES

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