Saturday, April 27, 2019

HMAS Adelaide embarks mechanised combat team for the first time

Thanks to Grey Forest for the link!

HMAS Adelaide has for the first time embarked a mechanised combat team including supporting elements to conduct Sea Basing Amphibious Operations over the Joint War Fighter Series in 2019.

A mechanised Combat Team from Battle Group Boar, centred on the 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (7 RAR), embarked in HMAS Adelaide during the recent visit to namesake port Adelaide.

The Amphibious Warfare Officer and Head of the Amphibious Department on board Adelaide, Major Charles De-Zilva said the task was complicated by the shallow tidal window of Port of Flinders in Adelaide’s Outer Harbor, during the embarkation period.

“To overcome this constraint, HMAS Adelaide used a pontoon barge to extend the tidal window for its side doors, and a detailed rehearsal and embarkation planning were conducted by the Adelaide Amphibious Task Group and 7 RAR to ensure safe and efficient embarkation.

“For Sea Series components of Joint War Fighter Series 2019, Adelaide is the Primary Control Ship for the Amphibious Task Group. This task is another first for Adelaide as she will be controlling multiple surface connectors from both HMAS Canberra and Adelaide,” said Major De-Zilva.

Commanding Officer 7 RAR, Lieutenant Colonel Adam Gower said throughout the Joint War Fighter Series 2019, Battle Group Boar will conduct Ship to Object Manoeuvre (STOM) and use both a mechanised and Air Mobile Combat Teams from Adelaide.

“This will be the first time that the Adelaide amphibious department will conduct STOM with a mechanised Combat Team and the first time that 7 RAR have conducted Sea Basing Operations with Adelaide.

“This is a step change in the capability that 7 RAR can provide to the Australian Defence Force.

“At the end of these activities we will be able to project and sustain combat power using both air and surface ship to shore connectors,” said Lieutenant Colonel Gower.

The Amphibious Department operates and controls both the heavy and light vehicle decks, the embarked forces accommodation and the Ship to Objective Manoeuvre. The Amphibious Department on HMAS Adelaide has a variety of essential components on the ship for vehicle embarkation and disembarkation, either by ship to shore connectors or while alongside using the ships doors and vehicle ramps.

The Amphibious Department also controls all amphibious Ship to Objective Manoeuvres, by air and surface connectors.
The Aussies are a stubborn lot but its quite clear.  For better or worse they might have an "Army" but the future of that Army lies with amphibious operations.

Consider it a form of the Italian  Lagunari (Wiki article on them here).  I got a nice little chucke (in an ironic kind of way) from the adoption of USMC language.

Then reason took over.

This is a tremendous opportunity.  I am not a fan of partnerships as its been conducted over the past 10 or more years.  I view it as more fluff than actual "go to war" training.

With the Aussies in the Pacific it would be VERY different.

The opportunity (if we don't squander it) is to fully integrate their Navy and 7th RAR into the US Navy/Marine Corps team.

A solid partnership with the Aussies and Japanese would go a VERY LONG WAY toward being able to contain China in the Pacific.

Of all our allies those are the two that don't appear to be playing both sides of the fence.  Additionally Japan and Australia have fairly good relations.

My recommendation?

If exercises in S. Korea are off as long as there is a chance of solving the nuclear aspirations of the little fat madman, then we should press hard for a US - Australia - Japanese full on amphibious exercise (along with the Air Force, Coast Guard and many bubbas as we can get down there) that rivals Bold Alligator in size and scope and make it a recurring exercise.

Australia is getting ready and it would help them set up their Amphibious Army.  Japan has a new Marine Corps that could use the experience gained in a big exercise.  The US would benefit from the integration of large, allied forces operating in the field along with what I hope would be a massive interservice effort.

Win, win, win!

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