New Geraldton Army Reserve unit seeks recruits for patrol training

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Adam PoulsenGeraldton Guardian
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Warrant Officer Class Two Ross Peck and Private Alvin Taylor of the Pilbara Regiment's new Geraldton unit.
Camera IconWarrant Officer Class Two Ross Peck and Private Alvin Taylor of the Pilbara Regiment's new Geraldton unit. Credit: Adam Poulsen, The Geraldton Guardian

Geraldton has a new Army Reserve unit and it is seeking fresh recruits.

The newly formed F Troop 2 Squadron of the Pilbara Regiment moved into the Lester Avenue depot in January, replacing the 16 Royal WA Regiment.

Warrant Officer Class Two Ross Peck said unlike its predecessor, the new squadron trained soldiers for border protection operations in Australia’s north and north-west.

“This is a huge step in the Army’s capability to support border protection in that our role is very different and unique to Geraldton and WA,” he said.

“This is a totally different unit from the 16, with a different task and a different role.”

WO2 Peck said the Pilbara Regiment aimed to recruit local indigenous people wherever possible.

“We’ve been able to tap into the Geraldton area because we have a lot of links to the surrounding indigenous communities, including Port Hedland, Newman, Tom Price, Karratha, Exmouth and Carnarvon,” he said.

“Because out in the field we rely so heavily on the locals to understand the local environment, we use local people, with their local experience inside the reserves.”

WO2 Peck said recruit numbers were still quite low, but there were 31 potential candidates who had expressed an interest in joining, of whom about a third were indigenous.

He said recruits were encouraged to complete various training courses to equip them to become fully qualified patrolmen.

“They have a suite of specialty courses they have to facilitate so they can get an insertion capability and a special role,” WO2 Peck said.

“That might be driving the boats or vehicles, or they might have to complete a specialty course such as combat communication or combat medic.

“They also have a patrolman course, which teaches them how to move around in the bush, how to occupy observation points, and how to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance.

“Two of our guys were able to get on that course almost straight away, and since they came back they’re literally chomping at the bit to get away on operational deployments.”

Other recruits have also completed a comprehensive G Wagon course — the vehicle of choice for the unit.

The course covers aspects including servicing, recovery techniques, tactical driving and night-fighting driving.

To enlist, visit the Pilbara Regiment Army Reserve depot at 189 Lester Avenue or call 13 19 01.

Applicants must be physically fit Australian citizens aged between 17 and 55, without a criminal record.

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