ROCKHAMPTON, Australia —
On the 100th anniversary of WWI’s Battle of Hamel, when U.S. and Australian forces first fought side by side against German forces in Le Hamel, France, the longtime partners once again joined forces, this time for Exercise Hamel at Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area in central Queensland, Australia, from June 18–July 1.
Indiana Army National Guardsmen traveled nearly 9,000 miles to join their Australian counterparts for the exercise, which saw U.S. forces integrated into the Australian Battle Group to enhance tactical and sustainment interoperability with allied partners.
“It was truly an honor to be able to integrate into one of our coalition partner’s headquarters,” said U.S. Army Col. Robert Burke, the commander of the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. “We were able to conduct a very challenging and worthwhile command post and field training exercise, outside the United States, and achieve a higher level of readiness than I anticipated while creating great relationships with the Australians during an historic time in our shared military history.”
More than 6,000 Australian soldiers and nearly 800 U.S. military personnel participated in the training. Hamel is an Australian Army field training exercise that serves as the Army’s culminating event in the unit train-up/certification process before transitioning…