Exercise Angel Reign 2016 commences in Townsville

Exercise Angel Reign has wrapped up its first week of activity with an exercise to recover eight ‘isolated’ personnel in a training scenario on the Outer Reef in Townsville on Friday 1 July.

Angel Reign is a Joint Personnel Recovery activity that provides Combat Search and Rescue training for combat crews, para rescue, battle managers and joint search and rescue centre personnel.

The Exercise Director, Group Captain Mark McCallum, said the week has been a great opportunity for the Australian Defence Force to challenge its personnel in the use of tactics, techniques and procedures with international partners and external agencies.

“So far we have successfully located and retrieved all isolated personnel in the three training serials we have run during the exercise.”

A diverse range of capabilities are operating throughout the exercise including an AP-3C Orion conducting an Air Sea Rescue Kit drop and personnel location; United States Air Force HH60 Pave Hawk Helicopter Winching, using MC130P to locate personnel; Guardian Angel para rescue and recovery; and the E7-A Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft to conduct networked communications. This effort has been supported by an LCM8 landing craft from the Australian Army.

“The Air Force has successfully run serials with our inter-agency partners this week including the Australian Maritime Search Agency, Australian Search and Rescue, the Coast Guard and Queensland Police, as well as specialist support from Army,” Group Captain McCallum said.

Exercise Angel Reign provides an opportunity to build interoperability and cultivate ties with the United States and civilian agencies, and helps to promote security and stability in the region.

“This week has shown that Air Force is an agile and potent combat force that can operate in an integrated battle space with multiple partners, at relatively short notice,” Group Captain McCallum said.

“To achieve this the Air Force has applied advanced capabilities and technology from a range of services in innovative ways.”

Whilst the first week of the exercise has focused on water based search and rescue activities, the second week will see land based recovery exercises take place at the Townsville Field Training Area.

“Next week we will be conducting training that responds to a vehicle with passengers being attacked by simulated Improvised Explosive Devices (IED),” Group Captain McCallum said.

“This will test the recovery of a person who is seriously injured, while there is a second person who is in a high threat situation.

“These scenarios are highly realistic. The training outcomes are very worthwhile and directly contributes to Australia’s enhanced joint recovery capability.”

Exercise Angel Reign wraps up on Thursday 07 July.