Australian and Bruneian soldiers have trained together in Australia on Exercise Mallee Bull for the first time in over 10 years, enhancing the strong relationship between the two nations and improving their ability to work together.
More than 60 soldiers from the Australian Army’s 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and 55 soldiers from the Royal Brunei Land Forces took part in the exercise at Brisbane’s Gallipoli Barracks.
The two-week exercise focussed on integrating training in urban environments with mechanised vehicles and reconnaissance. Soldiers practiced the integration of Australian and Bruneian military equipment, including the Australian M113AS4 Armoured Personnel Carriers and Bruneian motorcycles and unmanned aerial vehicles to complete training missions.
Seventh Brigade Commander Brigadier Andrew Hocking said the Exercise Mallee Bull has been mutually beneficial for both nations, with both bonding over the past two weeks and learning a lot from each other.
“They’ve shared knowledge and tactics to improve key skills, overcome the challenges of operating with soldiers from different militaries and both strengthened their ability to work with one another on future operations or exercises,” said Brigadier Hocking.
“The exercise has been a great opportunity to build strong, long-term relationships with our Bruneian counterparts to improve security, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific Region.”
Brigadier Hocking added that Brunei is one of Australia’s valued partners in regional counter-terrorism exercises and the two nations contribute to strengthening the interoperability across a range of operational scenarios.
Exercise Mallee Bull is one of several bilateral defence exercises between Australia and Brunei, with other exercises involving the Navy and Special Forces. It also coincides with the annual Australian-Brunei Joint Defence Working Committee in Brisbane with delegates from both nations visiting troops and viewing training at Gallipoli Barracks as part of the programme.