A Swell Six Days in LARC-Vs

Private Lynette Khan was thrilled with a bonus visit from sister Melissa and nephew Koa

Private Lynette Khan was thrilled with a bonus visit from sister Melissa and nephew Koa

Jess Milne

What do you get when you cross a truck with a boat? A LARC-V, or otherwise known as a Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo 5 Tonne.

In service since the 1970s, these all-purpose vehicles offer excellent capability to resupply the Army and also aid in humanitarian and disaster relief efforts as they are not restricted by tides, therefore can operate 24/7 in beach operations.

Did you know that LARC-Vs all have different names that are derived from previous operators? Roles onboard include No. 1 as the driver and No. 2 who guides from the back.

Enter Exercise Surfing Penguin and the 35 Water Transport Squadron from Townsville to the shores of Rainbow Beach. Visitors and locals were able to see the LARC-Vs in action for almost a week in September during the Squadron’s certification training on watercraft in surf conditions. A double bonus was the use of a drone to capture the action that will be used to create training videos.

Under the watchful eye of WO2 Gary Chattington (AKA the Safety Guy) and Jessie Reis (AKA the Paperwork Girl) drills such as man overboard, fire onboard a craft, capsize and recovery operations should a craft break down in the surf provided invaluable training for instinctive responses from soldiers in the event of an emergency.

Training with inflatable FC470 Zodiacs was also conducted that left more than a few with soggy socks!

The amphibious LARC-V in action on our local beach

The amphibious LARC-V in action on our local beach

Personnel had the pleasure of spotting a few dolphins, turtles, crabs and diving cormorants while on the water but thankfully no sharks.

Another highlight was engaging with the younger generation with the distribution of Surfing Penguin stickers as mementos and a look on the LARC-Vs when they were not in use.

One member of the Squadron was also able to enjoy a rare treat during lunch: Private Lynette Khan had her sister Melissa and ten month old nephew Koa visit from Brisbane.

With the high risk weather season running from November to February, Surfing Penguin prepares the Squadron to respond to severe weather incidents around Australia and internationally. They have assisted and responded on Operation Fiji Assist and domestically on Operation Bushfire Assist and in the Townsville floods.

Rainbow Beach is happy to have played a part in helping them prepare for future events requiring their invaluable assistance.

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