5RAR Tiger Logo 5RAR on Operations


Operation Federal

A rifle section of Lt John Lee’s 1 Platoon of A Company 5RAR is shown in open arrowhead formation whilst patrolling in search of enemy to the east of Long Binh during Operation Federal in March 1969. Pte Merv Tuckett is closest to the camera. This type formation in open-country, used by Australian infantry, ensured that the scouts were well forward but with support spread rearwards and to the sides so that a response to an enemy contact could be reacted immediately from either flank. The patrol is well spread out so as to minimise casualties from, for example, single enemy machine gun bursts from any direction. Clearing the high ground, as shown here, provided security and kept the patrol in a position of strength, so as to have better observation and to enable dominating firepower. Whenever the type of terrain changed so did the formation adopted by the patrol.