Army gets back to core roles of soldiering in Exercise Torokiki

New Zealand Army personnel are returning to the core business of soldiering after two years of helping fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

The army conducted its first major exercise since the end of Operation Protect, the Defense Force’s response to Covid-19, this week in Manawatū.

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Exercise Torokiki was held at Linton Military Camp and the Raumai Range west of the Bulls in Rangitīkei. This is a milestone in the army’s five-year regeneration plan.

Soldiers work on core combat skills, junior leadership and mental and physical challenges for personnel.

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Soldiers work with patients during combat first aid training as part of New Zealand Army Training Torokiki at Linton Military Camp.

DAVID UNWIN/Stuff

Soldiers work with patients during combat first aid training as part of New Zealand Army Training Torokiki at Linton Military Camp.

Land Component Commander Colonel Duncan Roy said around 1000 soldiers from across the country were taking part.

“We have come to spend some time together today in a challenging environment where we can connect, [and] back to the core business of soldiers.

“[It’s] really aimed at the individual and junior level, so we’re operating in sections, groups of 10 and there are just a lot of different activities to give our people different points of experience that come with the army.

As part of Operation Protect, many soldiers went beyond their regular duties and instead took part in running the isolation and quarantine facilities they managed.

“We are busy in the hotel for the MIQ facility and we are happy to do it. That is what the Government wants and the nation needs.

A soldier hards out on the obstacle course during sports.

DAVID UNWIN/Stuff

A soldier hards out on the obstacle course during sports.

“It’s great to be able to put it behind us and reorientate and look at the core business of soldiers and come back.

“We are quite a young organization with people coming through.

“Some of the people who joined in the last two years didn’t have this opportunity, so it’s exciting and great to be able to do it.”

Before Covid-19 the army would not have carried out exercises on this scale, but Roy said he wanted to make a statement with everyone and form the basis before more complex exercises next year.

Next year soldiers will carry out special training in logistics, signals or combat.

The training is broken up into five days, with a variety of activities, and personnel are tasked with “good basic skills” regardless of what they do.

He also spoke about the culture and ethos of the army.

Soldiers go through a training simulation where personnel pass through shipping containers and targets are shot at using electronic blanks.

DAVID UNWIN/Stuff

Soldiers go through a training simulation where personnel pass through shipping containers and targets are shot at using electronic blanks.

Roy said he has heard a lot of positive things from the soldiers about working together and being part of a unique experience.

“Whether it’s shooing on the range out in Raumai, whether it’s doing good soldiers like we see here, or some of the more unorthodox we do like setting up a tent underwater, some challenges are designed to really tweak it. mental ability and teamwork.”

The training sessions included live firing sessions, medical training and going through an obstacle course.

There is a training simulation where soldiers go through shipping containers and shoot targets using a new form of electronic blanks, which come from a Norwegian company and appear to be a cheaper option than regular blanks.

Colonel Duncan Roy said army personnel are returning to the core business of soldiers.

DAVID UNWIN/Stuff

Colonel Duncan Roy said army personnel are returning to the core business of soldiers.

In Raumai, he did live shooting and worked on the NH90 helicopter.

Sergeant Jack Colton was the instructor for the medical session, which he said was designed to refresh first aid skills and work as a team.

During the session, the soldiers act as wounded men, complete with make-up to resemble bloody wounds and loud cries, and need to be treated.

The soldier was also taught how to use a tourniquet to stop someone from bleeding.

Live fire training at Linton’s firing range has trained soldiers to use Glock pistols and shoot at targets from various ranges and positions, so that they refamiliarize themselves with the weapon.

Soldiers practice firing pistols from a kneeling position.

DAVID UNWIN/Stuff

Soldiers practice firing pistols from a kneeling position.

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