Diggers share Canberra’s decks with Sri Lankan mates

Australian Army soldier Lance Corporal Ethan Smith, left, fits a Bump Helmet to a member of the Sri Lankan Army aboard HMAS Canberra.

Diggers share Canberra’s decks with Sri Lankan mates

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) , have swapped the jungles of Sri Lanka for the seas of India as they continue their training mission during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE19).

Working alongside the diggers aboard HMAS Canberra were some of Sri Lanka’s finest troops, including ground forces of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

Corporal Patrick Mortimore, a recon patrol commander from 2RAR, said he and his team enjoyed integrating and bonding with the Sri Lankans.

“We’ve never worked with some of these Sri Lankan forces before, so it’s really interesting to see how they operate,” Corporal Mortimore said.

“Their drills are different to ours in some aspects, but they are extremely effective.

“It didn’t take us long to establish that they were operating at a very high standard and that we could learn a lot from them.

“Their camouflage and concealment skills were mind-blowing.”

More than 1200 ADF personnel are involved in IPE19, which marks the largest-ever Defence engagement between Australia and Sri Lanka.

“The Sri Lankans were really great to us while we were ashore, so now we’re returning the favour while we’re at sea,” Corporal Mortimore said.

“It’s great to hang out and show the Sri Lankans what life’s like aboard Canberra.”

The Sri Lankan forces will remain embarked for part of the IPE19 deployment, while the Australian Joint Task Force continues its schedule of visits to Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.


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