Toowoomba exercise tests joint Army and Police response

Department of Defence

Soldiers from the Army’s 11th Brigade will soon arrive in Toowoomba for a week-long training exercise aimed at improving joint procedures with representatives of the Queensland Police Service (QPS).

EXERCISE ARRAS SPRINT 2022 will see approximately 100 Army personnel deployed to the area as part of a training response to a domestic security scenario.

“This exercise builds upon previous joint responses conducted by the Queensland Police Service and Army personnel from the 11th Brigade over the past two years. This includes support to vehicle checkpoints and hotel quarantine as part of the whole of government response to COVID-19,” Exercise Director, Colonel Arran Hassell said.

“Our aim is to effectively and realistically train our people alongside the QPS officers and local government without causing concern or alarm amongst the community. Soldiers will be equipped with weapons with blank ammunition only.

“There will be an increase in activity around the O’Quinn Street Depot and activities around the City Hall and in Queen’s Park. Every day we’ll have different activities in the city and around the region.”

The 11th Brigade personnel are drawn from local and Queensland Army Reserve units including the 25th/49th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment (25/49 RQR).

“This is the second time we’ve done an exercise of this nature in Queensland,” Colonel Hassell said.

“On both occasions we have chosen to undertake the exercise in Toowoomba. It is a safe environment and a great community in which to conduct the training.

“We have a strong and enduring relationship with local residents as a result of having bases at Oakey and Cabarlah, as well as our Reserve depot at O’Quinn Street.

Exercise staff will host a visitor’s day at the O’Quinn Street Depot on Friday, 20 May at 2.30 pm, featuring an ARH Tiger helicopter, a Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle and a range of other displays. The Defence Force Recruitment team will also be there for those interested in joining the Australian Defence Force.

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