Exercise Tartan Warrior 2010
Story and Photos by John Cosgrove
Close country tactical training was the theme for this year’s annual field training exercise held by the 4th Otago Southland Battalion Group in the Southland area.
Soldiers from the 4th Otago Southland Battalion Group move through the tussock on the floor of the Acton Valley during a tactical training exercise. (WN-09-0001-044).
This once a year collective training activity was for Reserve Force soldiers hailing from the Otago and Southland areas, to revise and practise a wide variety of skills they are required to maintain to allow them to operate effectively as individuals and as a unit in a close country environment.
Held in the picturesque Acton Valley region of the Eyre Forest near Mossburn and then later in the Longwood Forest area behind Riverton, the assembled platoon of 54 soldiers was soon practising weapon handling and live firing drills, tactical and combat unit formations, counter ambush drills, navigation and field craft over the ten day period.
The opportunity to conduct live firing of their IW Steyrs and C9 Machines guns was a big draw card for many of the soldiers who are attending this week’s activities. The NZ Army cadre staff on hand arranged many interesting combat scenarios to test the soldiers individual weapon handling skills including a tricky Jungle Lane Shoot through the dense forests of Acton valley were SSGT’s Dion Beker and Glenn Vaughan had constructed a number of unique pop up targets from Fig.11s, 4 x 2’s, trip wires and a car inner tube.
Their Jungle Lane Shoot required the soldiers to tactically work their way through a section of forest in pairs, snap shooting at pop up targets as they honed their contact drills and individual weapon handling drills.
The soldiers then completed a tactical night move down to the Riverton area to put into practise their skills against a very persistent enemy party.
The close country conditions made life difficult at time as the Reserve Force soldiers under Lt Waaka Parkinson searched in the dense forest undergrowth the enemy campsite for four days before they put in an early morning platoon strength attack on the position.
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