Officers conduct a section attack during Exercise Gauntlet Strike. ​

More than 150 Australian Army combat arms officers were at Puckapunyal Military Area as part of a week-long intensive training course to learn manoeuvres in armoured personnel carriers.

The exercise, known as Exercise Gauntlet Strike, concluded on June 30 and involved 268 army personnel including instructors and saw combat arms officers given the challenge of becoming a troop leader or platoon commander.

It was the culmination of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps’ regimental officer basic course and a mechanised regimental officer course for infantry officers to learn about armoured carriers.

Combined Arms Training Centre commandant Colonel Patrick Davison said the courses qualified the army’s latest cohort of combat arms lieutenants to confidently command soldiers in combined arms teams.

“While they are artillery, armour or infantry officers first, Army expects them to confidently lead teams who can achieve a combination of army capabilities,” he said.

“Exercise Gauntlet Strike exposes officers to a mix of combat arms and tests their ability to plan and execute realistic missions.

“The Combined Arms Training Centre provides world-class training that is purposefully demanding, to ensure the next generation of combat leaders is equipped to fight and win under arduous conditions and challenging circumstances.”

Col Davidson said officers successfully completed a range of tasks as part of a combat team against a realistic opposition force.

“Their performance has been outstanding. I’m confident they can meet the challenges of command and are equipped to face the complexities of warfighting now and into the future,” he said.

Officers who took part in the exercise will now post as a qualified junior officer to their battalion or regiment in one of the army’s combat brigades.

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