EMILY MACDONALD | Townsville Bulletin
AFTER A DECADE SPENT FIGHTING WARS in the desert across the Middle East, soldiers from Townsville will once again work on their jungle terrain skills as part of Exercise Olgeta Warrior in Papua New Guinea.
The exercise, which will extend throughout October, involves infantry, engineers, logistics and aviation troops sharing their knowledge with the PNG Defence Force.
The infantry component, Exercise Wantok Warrior, will involve 160 soldiers drawn mostly from the 2nd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment's Alpha Company. They will go to Wewak where they will work with the 2nd Royal Pacific Islands Regiment.
The Townsville soldiers have this week been busy practising their marksmanship skills at the Mount Stuart Training Area ahead of leaving for their month-long training and mentoring trip to PNG next week.
Captain Andrew Titcume said there was much the Townsville soldiers could learn from their PNG counterparts.
"Absolutely it will be beneficial but it's not just about us mentoring them. Especially when it comes to jungle operations, there's certainly a lot we'll take from the experience," he said.
"2RAR will be the amphibious battalion for the Army for the foreseeable future and so a lot of the places we can expect to operate in will be coastal environments.
"Especially for our new guys, this will be a first trip overseas with the Army and for some of them, the first time overseas ever so it will be a very good experience."
While in Wewak the Townsville troops will also have the opportunity to tour historic WWII battle sites.