UK-Australia Army Exchange Builds Capability
Tuesday 15 March, 2016
Source: Captain Sharon Mascall-Dare
A UK Army Reserve Rifle Platoon will take part in a landmark exercise in South Australia this month – building on historic connections between the UK and Australian Armies.
Exercise Morlancourt will see a Rifle Platoon from the 4th Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, embedded with the 10th/27th Battalion, The Royal South Australia Regiment (10/27 RSAR), as they undertake field training with the Australian Army’s 1st Brigade at the Cultana Training Area near Whyalla.
“This exercise builds on long-standing relations between the Australian and UK Army Reserves,” said the Commanding Officer of 10/27 RSAR, Lieutenant Colonel Trent Burnard.
“A number of our members have deployed on operations overseas alongside British and other allied forces and Exercise Morlancourt offers an opportunity to strengthen links at a strategic and tactical level.”
The exercise is named after the Battles of Morlancourt during World War I where Australian troops fought to take back territory in the Somme captured by Germany during the Spring Offensive of 1918. The town of Morlancourt was eventually taken back by British forces in August 1918.
The 27th Battalion – one of 10/27 RSAR’s antecedent units – fought in the Third Battle of Morlancourt in June 1918.
“My great-grandfather served with the 27th Battalion during World War One, so this exercise has historic significance for me personally as well as professionally,” said Lieutenant Colonel Burnard.
“As we continue to mark the Centenary of Anzac, Exercise Morlancourt demonstrates the importance and continued relevance of close ties between the British and Australian Armies from World War One until the present day.”
For Corporal Mark Blondell, a section commander with 10/27 RSAR, the exercise is an opportunity to test his skills and build on his training with both the UK and Australian Army Reserves.
“I was born in the UK and served with the UK Regular Army and Reserve before I moved to Adelaide and joined 10/27,” he said.
“This exercise is a great opportunity for Army Reservists from the UK and Australia to learn from each other in a challenging training environment.”
For more information on the history of the Battles of Morlancourt click here.
Lt-Col Trent Burnard with his Grandfather Gordon Burnard, holding a photograph of Sergeant John Burnard who served with the 27th Battalion on the Western Front.
Corporal Mark Blondell (centre) prepares for a section attack during a training exercise with members of the 10th/27th Battalion, The Royal South Australia Regiment.