Exercise Chapel Gold 2018
20 July 2018
Australian soldiers arrived in Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai Province in Thailand on Monday 9 July to conduct jungle warfare training with the Royal Thai Army as part of Exercise Chapel Gold 2018.
The 11-day exercise ran from 9 to 20 July and was hosted by the 2nd Infantry Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment of the Royal Thai Army.
Australian soldiers from Rifle Company Butterworth 122 (RCB 122), the majority of whom are from Alpha Company of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR), arrived from their base at Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth for the exercise.
Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Beck of the Australian Army’s 2nd/30th Training Group, responsible for the military training conducted by RCB 122, said the exercise was a fantastic opportunity to further enhance bilateral ties between two extremely professional military forces. Exercises such as Chapel Gold enable the two militaries to boost their interoperability so that when unexpected events such as the Thai-led rescue operation at Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai occur, our personnel can seamlessly integrate and cooperate to achieve the required mission.
The field phase of the exercise was held in Baan Huay Nam Rin area of Chiang Dao from 16 – 19 July, and included tactical attack and defence serials, counter insurgency training, jungle survival activities, close quarter battle training and medical evacuation drills using mules. The exercise culminated in a Civil – Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activity on the morning of 19 July where troops from both armies gave donations of sporting equipment and essential items to local villagers as well as repaired infrastructure and provided English lessons to local children. This was followed in location by the closing ceremony for the exercise at 1000 jointly presided over by the 7th Infantry Division Commander Major General Natthawut Chunhanan and the Australian 3rd Brigade Commander Brigadier Scott Winter.
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