Regiment sharpens its gunnery skills

15 March 2024

Gunners from the 4th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, have been hard at work sharpening skills on the M777 howitzer in the Townsville Field Training Area. 

Exercise Shot Start was the first live-fire exercise for the year, with gunners conducting basic and technical missions, including simulated danger close with high charges to certify soldiers and enable further advanced training.

Bombardier Jack Stramlic, of the 106th Battery, explained some of the training.

“Three High is a type of charge that we can throw into the M777 howitzer to achieve long distances, which would be untenable for lower charges,” Bombadier Stramlic said. 

“We like to use high charges to put the gun through its paces so that if we were to deploy on operations, we can confirm that we can effectively treat targets from longer distances. 

“If we can achieve that in training, we can achieve it on operations.”

Bombadier Stramlic said it was important for gun detachments to train for danger-close missions. 

“If we have friendly forces in a position where they’re about to be overrun, or who require friendly fire in close proximity to their location, these simulated serials are designed for us to effect targets that have the possibility to affect our own troops,” he said. 

“It’s the priority that we don’t affect our own; however, danger close is exactly what it means - it’s dangerous.

“But the more practice we get in training, the more we can affect those targets with minimal damage to our own troops.”

He said he took pride in operating as an effective team, and what was required for a gun detachment to operate like a well-oiled machine.

“A gun detachment is very tight knit; we tend to operate a bit like a football team - everyone knows their part and position on the field,” Bombadier Stramlic said. 

“As long as we build those small-team relationships and work together, we can achieve the mission.

“Charlie Gun have worked together on countless exercises before. A lot of the guys know each other well, we socialise often, and we operate well together.

“We have a few new members for this exercise and already, within six days, they have moulded into the battery seamlessly. It’s like they’ve been here for years. It’s great to see.

“We’re driven by the people who came before us. The battery is known for brilliant non-commissioned officers and respected commanders, who know what’s required for the soldiers to complete a task, but also provide the space for the soldiers to develop themselves. 

“The regiment is amazing, and 106th Battery prides itself on its professionalism.”



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