Article courtesy 'ARMY the soldiers' Newspaper'
Photographs courtesy CAPT Darren McKenzie 5RAR
'The last of 5RAR's M113s has left the battalion
lines at Robertson Barracks with the battalion
members lining the the streets to see it out of
service with the unit.
Crewed by Sgt Scott Barry and driven by L/Cpl
Joshua Wale, the M113 made its way slowly along
the street with each soldier standing to
attention as it passed to mark the importance of
CO Lt-Col Richard Barrett said the APC was not
only a significant part of the battalion's
heritage but also of the Army's history.
"The M113 has provided a unique warfighting
capability to 1 Bde," he said.
"They have been part of the unit for than 30
years and we now have the task of transitioning
to a standard infantry battalion."
In 1976, before the delinking of the two units,
5/7RAR began working with the vehicles after
accepting them from 2 Cav Regt as part of a two
Years later in June 1984 the unit adopted the
"Mechanised" suffix and conducted its first
battalion-level mechanised exercise in late
The unit deployed on operational service with
the vehicles during Interfet in Timor-Leste in
1999 and maintained a QRF presence with M113s in
Timor-Leste in Timor-Leste from 2006 to 2009.
Sgt Barry was chosen to crew the last vehicle in
recognition of his years working with armoured
vehicles in 5/7RAR, School of Armour, 7RAR and
"It's a shame to see them go," he said. "I liked
the excellent firepower and protected mobility
Sgt Barry played an important role in the
battalion's efforts to move the M113s from 5RAR
to be based with the soon-to-be-formed armoured
cavalry regiments (ACR).
The battalion will remain the ready battalion
group until November.
Lt-Col Barrett said it was an exciting time for
"We have some major exercises this year where we
will refocus for conventional dismounted
operations," he said.
"We'll wait and see how the ACRs evolve as we'll
be in a position to actively contribute to their
tactics, techniques and procedures being
The M113 fleet is being upgraded and are
expected to remain in service for at least the