23 June 2011
Brimstone evokes images of fire and fury, which makes it an ideal name for an exercise that is designed to test soldiers and officers of the Royal New Zealand Artillery.
Live firing with the artillery guns and the mortars at the training ground in Waiouru (OH-10-0452-081).
The guns from 16 Field Regiment will be in action in Waiouru for Exercise Brimstone, during the last week of June, as part of the testing phases for several Royal New Zealand Artillery courses.
The exercise is based on a contemporary environment, similar to Afghanistan, in which the NZ Army is currently operating.
The RNZA Young Officers and Captains courses will have their skills tested in specific artillery competencies, as well as their ability to command and control soldiers in complex situations.
Major Kendal Peacock, the Chief instructor at the School of Artillery explains that the testing must be rigorous to ensure that when the gun crews and commanders need to operate under pressure that they have the skills, and have had some experience of working in difficult situations.
"The exercise combines the command and control skills necessary for the officers, at the same time we are also assessing practical skills of the gun and command post crews who are attending bombardier and artillery Sergeant courses. This exercise makes all the theory real " says Maj Kendall Peacock.
The exercise also provides opportunities for other elements of the Army and Defence Force to operate in a practical environment with 2 Health Support Battalion (NZ) conducting medical scenarios, and a Seasprite from 6 Squadron working with 5 Movements Company creating air portable supply loads and delivering them to the gun lines.
* Brimstone is the early name for sulphur which was a component of gunpowder, modern artillery rounds use cordite instead of gunpowder.