Battalion leads the charge on safety

Private Jake Hopkins of 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, during testing of a new urban training facility at Greenbank training area, Queensland. Photo: Private Jacob Hilton

Battalion leads the charge on safety

The 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, (8/9RAR) is leading the charge on safety for urban operations’ training, which will one day allow full battalion live-fire urban exercises.

The Brisbane urban training facility at the Greenbank Military Training Area has specially designed air vents, sensors, and ground-breaking new materials.

Soldiers from 8/9RAR have been conducting tests to study and improve the workplace health and safety conditions of the facility.

Project manager Simon Stuart said the recent focus was on new ammunition that may be used by soldiers in the future.

“This testing is to facilitate and define the exposure levels of copper contaminants for the proposed close target rounds and we’re utilising some pretty innovative designs, providing assurance that the contamination levels fall within the Australian standards for safe work practices,” he said. 

“The design is primarily based on air flow across the breathing zone to minimise exposure to copper in the air, and shows what exposure is likely to be encountered by soldiers using the facility.”

With the tests being conducted, Mr Stuart said 8/9RAR had been able to define how much live firing a soldier can sustain indoors within workplace health and safety guidelines. 

“The aim is to protect the firers from that backsplash.”

Soldiers from the 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, and Defence contractors inspect the impact zone of new material to be used in urban training facilities after a live fire test at Greenbank training area, Queensland. Photo: Private Jacob Hilton

Captain Ryan Kelly, of 8/9RAR, highlighted the importance of urban combat training for infantry soldiers as Army continues to innovate its training for future operations. 

“As the battlespace develops over time, conflict in urban spaces will continue to become more predominant, so it’s becoming more important for us to practice and train in an urban environment as opposed to solely in the bush,” he said. 

Captain Kelly said the testing being conducted at the Greenbank training area was important for the infantry’s modernisation as training continues to develop. 

“The end result will allow us to have large-scale urban facilities that we can safely fire and train through regularly.”

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