A commanding presence

TAMWORTH drivers on their way to work yesterday morning were a little alarmed by the sight of armed men in camouflage running down the footpath.

ALERT, NOT ALARMED: Members of the 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers complete testing with webbing and weapons, carrying jerry cans at Gipps St fields. Photo: Gareth Gardner 160714GGB02

ALERT, NOT ALARMED: Members of the 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers complete testing with webbing and weapons, carrying jerry cans at Gipps St fields. Photo: Gareth Gardner 160714GGB02

The message, though, was to be alert but not alarmed as it was simply our local soldiers undergoing physical testing.

12th/16th Hunter River Lancers adjutant Captain Brendan Thomas said the run and other activities on the Gipps St fields were part of the army’s new physical employment assessment standard.

“The testing was an all-corps physical standard, so we were testing our abilities to do our jobs,” he said.

“The army doesn’t test on who people are (male or female) but instead test people’s physical abilities to do their jobs.” 

The 12/16 HRL, based at Beersheba Barracks on Marius St, had alerted local police and Tamworth Regional Council to what they would be doing, but it created plenty of interest.

They even had two police vehicles drive past during the testing.

Residents will again be seeing the armed soldiers on the streets in two to three weeks as they complete more testing.

Captain Thomas said the army reserve unit also needed to do a 5km pack march, and along the Peel River was the most suitable place to train.

If you think you’re up to the challenge, call 131 901 about joining the army reserve.

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