Steeped in history

Private Tui Swann, from the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, is preparing at Gallipoli Barracks, Brisbane, for Rotation 133 to Rifle Company Butterworth in Malaysia. Photo: Private Jacob Hilton

Steeped in history

A young private soldier with 6 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR) is looking forward to continuing a family tradition with the Army’s long running training establishment in South-East Asia. 

Private Tui Swann, from Delta Company, 6 RAR is about to experience a four-month rotation to Rifle Company Butterworth (RCB) in Penang, Malaysia, as part of Rotation 133. 

“You hear a lot of history about RCB, I have had family go through there,” he said.

“I had an uncle who was an Air Defence soldier in the early 1980s, he’s told me all about it. I had an uncle in the Navy that went there too.

“Family is definitely excited, I can’t say Mum is, but I am happy to be where I am. I see it more as an opportunity than a takeaway.”

RCB was established in 1970 to provide a quick reaction force for RAAF Base Butterworth during the Communist Insurgency in Malaysia. 

The insurgency has ended, however RCB has been maintained as a way of providing the Australian Army with training opportunities with the Malaysian Army. 

COVID-19 has forced some changes, and RCB 133 will adhere to all Australian and Malaysian government COVID-19 requirements. 

“COVID-wise, you work with what you have got and I am happy they are running courses, I am new to the battalion and this is my first overseas experience with the Army,” Private Swann said.

In preparation for Malaysia, members of RCB 133 recently conducted training at the Army’s Jungle Training Wing in Tully, North Queensland. 

“Tully was definitely an awesome experience, just getting the jungle training there,” he said.

The Brisbane local has just notched up his first year in the Army and said he was happy to be continuing his families’ long tradition of service. 

“My grandfather was a captain in the Navy, same thing with my uncle,” Private Swann said.

“I had an uncle and aunty who met in the Air Force, and I am lucky enough to be the first Army member in my family.

“I am glad to be coming into a high tempo company, lucky enough to be in Delta Company with the reputation and the history that it has.”

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