News from Lavarack Barracks. The BC, BSM and 107 Battery have been totally committed to training activities, so a few words from Commanding Officer 4th Regiment, Lt Col Damian Hill, extracted from the Regimental Newsletter Volume, 8 Apr-Jun 2015.
Hectic is word often used to describe a 4 Regt year, but I cannot think of a better word to describe the last three months. We dispersed far and wide in support of the 100th anniversary of Anzac, including marching as a unit be- hind our colours (the guns). This followed in quick succession by the Regt 55th birthday celebrations, and I can say without a doubt, it was an amazing couple of days. The competitiveness during the gun race and trebuchet competition was fierce, the pomp and ceremony of the parade and 1812 Overture was grand, and the banter and camaraderie during both the Bty and Regt social events was obvious and endures as it has since the Regt formed. It was great to see so many former members of the Regt and their families, the feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive.
The Regt has been in the field almost continuously since early May and as I write this small note we once again pre- pare for another month away, this time in the cooler environs of Shoalwater Bay. The strength and resilience of our families continues to amaze me, as we ask more and more of our soldiers. I promise you the job they are doing is important, and your contribution is not forgotten. The more we train, the better we get and if we are sent overseas, the faster we will win.
I would like to make mention of the Regt shooting team. The efforts of WO2 Steve Wilson to bring together, train and deploy arguably the best team the Regt has ever sent to the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting has paid dividends, and soldiers of the Regt are in the top echelon of combat shots in the Army. Well done to WO2 Wilson and the team. The Regt Ball draws closer please continue to pay for your tickets over the coming months so that you do not have to outlay large sums of money close to Christmas. This year's event promises to be even better than the last couple, which will need to be seen to be believed.
Many in the Regt will shortly receive posting orders, this will mean the in- evitable turmoil attempting to lock down housing, schools, doctors etc. If you need help, ask us and we will provide you everything we can. The Regt is often an untapped wealth of information, and we have the networks in other locations that can ease some of the stress. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this edition, I cannot believe we have achieved so much in such a short time, and before we know it, Christmas will be upon us.
Ubique. Damian Hill Lieutenant Colonel
, let alone an inexperienced detachment. I am very proud of the Battery’s achievements in the face of such adversity.
The Battery also took part in the gun race held to celebrate the Regiment’s birthday in May. Despite the race against 109 Bty being close, the Rammers split the race wide open in the final stages to complete the course first by almost 30 seconds, only to lose due to a technicality. It was a heartbreaking result and as BC 109 Bty put it, ‘a very shallow victory indeed’. Continuing with Regimental competitions, the Rammers have come second in the swimming carnival (March) and just last week came a very close second to 106 Bty in the cross-country – an influx of new teenage soldiers fresh from the School aided 106 Bty greatly, despite a strong showing from the Rammers that had all onlookers convinced that we had it ‘in the bag’! We look forward to our next opportunity to seal a well-earned victory in the coming months and eventually return the Champion Battery trophy to the Battery Headquarters.
Presently the Battery is preparing itself for the coming twelve months of ‘readying’. As you may know, between the Army’s three full-time combat brigades there is a rotation every 12 months between ‘readying’ for deployment, ‘ready’ to deploy, and in ‘reset’ after the two-year work up. Also, one of the infantry battalions is designated as the ‘Ready Battle Group’, augmented with armour, artillery, engineer and support attachments. The Ready Battle Group (RBG) is the Army’s short-notice, highly deployable strategic capability, able to be recalled, constituted and deployed in hours; preparing to become part of the RBG requires significant training, as there will be no time for advanced training once the callout is made. This responsibility will fall to our supported unit, the 1st Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment, and so the Rammers will form part of the 1 RAR’s RBG. The coming year will be very busy for the Rammers, including a surprise callout or two that will incorporate the full callout and deployment of the majority of the Battalion group into a training scenario.
The coming months will see the Battery conduct Exercise NADZAB (High Range) in August, the Commanding Officer’s Challenge in September, and the Brigade live fire exercise in October. The Battery will also contribute to the RAA Command Post Exercise run annually at the School of Artillery at Puckapunyal in November, which will include the Divisional Artillery Headquarters for the first time in recent memory.
Currently the Battery has our Command Post Sergeant, SGT Rowan Temple, on deployment to the Sinai, and one of our Forward Observers, Captain Jackson Stanhope, deployed to Iraq. We pray for their safety and a safe, speedy return.
As always, my thanks go to the Committee and the Association for your continued support of the Battery.
Ubique, Major James Casey - Battery Commander