The Australian Defence Force (ADF) soldiers have recently carried out a company-level urban operations exercise, called Septimus Stride 2023.

The exercise involved participation of soldiers from the Australian Army’s 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR).

As part of this training activity, the participating unit battled other enemy role players to take the control of a port infrastructure.

The soldiers practiced clearance of a complex urban environment, which was located near Townsville in Queensland, Australia.

Australian Army major Laura Fitzpatrick said: “We are progressing our training from the basic skill set of soldiering – gaining and holding terrain – to more complex areas involving functioning urban environments, civilians and maintaining key infrastructure.

“The main restriction with this scenario is gaining control of the port and keeping the infrastructure intact at the same time.

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“This is an excellent transition exercise where we see soldiers coming straight off Exercise Brolga Run with two weeks of hard conventional warfighting, then refitting to fight, then at the port completing the first phase for this exercise within 48 hours.

“This tests the resilience of personnel but also replicates the natural progression of defeating an enemy, from the field to urban environments.”

Fitzpatrick claimed that this exercise allowed the participating battalion to train in environments beyond the traditional land combats, while preparing them for the upcoming annual Sea Series of exercises.

Practicing at the port, according to Fitzpatrick, was an apt scenario as it trained the soldiers to represent gaining control over a strategically critical infrastructure.

Fitzpatrick added: “With the help of Port of Townsville staff, more than 400 people and 40 military vehicles completed complex tactical actions at a working port in a 48-hour period.

 “The Port of Townsville staff really helped us to make this possible.”