Hitting the bullseye
Australian and Bruneian soldiers trained together for the first time in more than 10 years.
More than 60 soldiers from 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), and 55 soldiers from the Royal Brunei Land Forces took part in Exercise Mallee Bull at Gallipoli Barracks, Brisbane, from November 24 to December 7.
The exercise focused on integration training in urban environments with mechanised vehicles and reconnaissance.
Soldiers integrated Australian and Bruneian military equipment, including Australian M113AS4 armoured personnel carriers, Bruneian motorcycles and unmanned aerial vehicles to complete missions.
Lieutenant Jessica Lyons, of 6RAR, was the officer in charge of the activity.
“The soldiers have bonded and have learnt a lot from each other,” Lieutenant Lyons said.
“They’ve shared knowledge and tactics to improve key skills, have overcome the challenges of operating with soldiers from different militaries and strengthened our ability to work with one another on future operations or exercises.”
Lieutenant Shakri Sahri was a member of the Royal Brunei Land Forces who took part in the exercise.
“We have been learning a lot about urban operations,” Lieutenant Sahri said.
“In Brunei we are usually focused on jungle operations, so the urban training facilities in Australia have been very helpful for us.
“It’s a good activity to build a bond between soldiers from both countries, so we can communicate and integrate our two teams into one.”
Commander of 7th Brigade, Brigadier Andrew Hocking, said Exercise Mallee Bull was mutually beneficial.
“Brunei is one of Australia’s valued partners in regional counterterrorism,” Brigadier Hocking said.
“Exercises between our two nations contribute to strengthening our interoperability across a range of operational scenarios.”
Exercise Mallee Bull aimed to build strong, long-term relationships with Bruneian counterparts to improve security, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.
The exercise coincided with the annual Australian-Brunei Joint Defence Working Committee in Brisbane, with delegates from both nations visiting troops and seeing training at Gallipoli Barracks as part of the program.