The establishment of a "demonstration platoon" at the Jungle Training Centre (JTC), (later renamed Land Warfare Centre) at Canungra, Queensland was authorised on 4 January 1966. This became the Headquarters 1st Division Defence Company on 19 March 1968, before being designated 10th Independent Rifle Company RAR on 15 June 1971.
10th Independent Rifle Company, Royal Australian Regiment (10 IRC RAR) was part of the Australian Army and a unit of the Royal Australian Regiment, the senior Infantry Regiment of the Australian Army.
The company was tasked with supporting the activities of Battle Wing by providing personnel for opposing force demonstrations, training demonstrations and other training tasks. In 1974, 10 IRC had a strength of approximately 60 men, consisting of a company headquarters and two rifle platoons with two rifle sections each.
In their opposing force role they acted as enemy for all courses conducted at the Jungle Training Centre and in this role, members acted sometimes well above their worn rank. A private soldier may have acted the part of an enemy company commander or platoon commander.
In its role as training demonstrations, members of the unit provided members to demonstrate many military skills especially minor Infantry tactics, Infantry skills and techniques etc to participating units undergoing training for South Vietnam and it also provided demonstration support for various individual courses such as survival, navigation and specialist courses such as the AATTV selection course. In this role private soldiers and junior NCOs sometimes again acted in roles far above their worn rank. For example in the demonstrations for the platoon attack lessons, private soldiers acted as platoon commander, section commanders, section 2ICs, other platoon members and the “enemy”.
Other training tasks included duties as first aiders, life savers, small craft handlers, and other tasks and support for specialized activities within various courses and the Jungle Training Centre at both collective and individual levels.
Sometimes they even performed drill but that was not very often. It was often said by instructional staff and observers that the private soldiers of 10 IRC (one hundred and one Roman Catholics) could probably outperform any other NCO in the Australian Army at field craft but would not be equal to the task at drill. This last comment was negated when on more than one occasion they mounted catafalque parties at the neighbouring townships of Beaudesert, Beenleigh and Surfers Paradise, and were applauded by the locals and feted by the respective Mayors including letters of commendation, as the best guards of honour they had ever had the privilege of seeing. The intense preparation and practice obviously paid off.
At a basic level, a unit or sub unit might serve as an opposing force for a single scenario, differing from its 'opponents' only in the objectives it is given. At the Jungle training Centre, 10 IRC RAR was given multiple and varying tasks as an opposing force. However, to avoid the diplomatic ramifications of naming a real nation as a likely enemy, training scenarios often used fictionalized versions with different names but with similar military characteristics to the expected real-world foes. Thus, the counnry of Kamaria came into being as the “enemy” as did the 311 Ranger Battalion of the Kamarian Army. The country of Kamaria had long regarded Australia as the land of milk and honey. Over the years Kamaria had looked jealously at Australia's natural resources, especially it's coal, oil and gas holdings. Kamaria, with its ever expanding population estimated at 55 million and its diminishing natural resources, faced financial ruin and unable to borrow more money from the World Bank to prop up its economy, finally …… invaded Australia.
Kamaria’s stated intention, according to UN sources, was to invade, occupy and settle the remote and sparsely populated area west of a line drawn between Darwin and Perth. This land of course, included the mineral rich Kimberley region and the off shore oil resources of central Western Australia.
Australian Defence Force chiefs were concerned that if Kamaria was allowed to hold any occupied land for any length of time during subsequent and protracted peace talks, world outrage against the Kamarian invasion might soften and international opinion therefore, might favour the Kamarian occupation and settlement.
Military and government intelligence agencies suspected that the Kamarian 311 Raider Battalion would attempt raids and large scale attacks on military establishments along the Australian eastern seaboard in an attempt to disrupt the military supply lines to the west.
Until the late seventies, 10 IRC and the Headquarters 1st Division Defence Platoon before them, were given a variety of ‘enemy’ names and wore a mixture of Australian and foreign uniforms so as to be identified as ‘enemy’ by those undergoing training.
In order to provide an identifiable and realistic enemy for units undergoing training at The Jungle Training Centre, later to be renamed The Land Warfare Centre, 10 IRC adopted a secondary role as the fictitious 311 Raider Battalion of the fictitious Kamarian Armed Forces of the fictitious country of Kamaria whose intention was to invade Australia. 331 Raider Battalion was issued its own uniforms, rank system, badges of rank, identity card, operating procedures and propaganda material.
10 IRC and 311 Raider Battalion proved their worth and earned the respect of all who worked with them or came up against them. Many of the soldiers posted to 10 IRC came straight from Corps training and many marched out on promotion to battalions of the Regiment.
Whilst 2 RAR and 4 RAR were linked together as 2/4 RAR and wore a woven black and red lanyard, 10 IRC RAR wore the Infantry Scarlet lanyard of 4 RAR on the left shoulder as did 4 RAR before the linking. That perhaps helps to explain some of the antics of some members of 10 IRC and 311 Raider Battalion.
10 IRC soldiers and junior non commissioned officers dressed as Kamarian officers took great delight on being saluted and addressed as ‘Sir’ by unknowing Australian and foreign students at The Jungle Training Centre.
A 10 IRC private soldier dressed as a Kamarian major was even invited into the Officers’ Mess and enjoyed the hospitality of the Mess for over an hour by some visiting officers until he was introduced to his own, real platoon commander who quickly took stock of the situation and quickly downed the Kamarian Officer’s drink before removing him from the mess and into seven days of penalty duties.
One township near Beaudesert in southern Queensland, reported a group of ‘Kamarian Raiders’ to the police as a private army of political insurgents attempting to recruit new members and spreading anti government propaganda. Perhaps they should not have been wearing their Kamarian uniforms and distributing their pretend political doctrine in the local pub!
The unofficial identity card of Trooper, the unofficial mascot of 10 IRC RAR from 1973 to 1975. Trooper belonged to Sergeant Alan Price and was only one of two dogs allowed within the JTC.
The company was reduced to a 40 man platoon on 29 March 1980 and was disbanded in the late 1990s. The march of 10 IRC RAR was Men of Harlech and it’s colour patch was green, pale blue and green.
Sadly, 10 IRC no longer exists but it did return the Infantry Scarlet lanyard to 4 RAR when 4 RAR was delinked from 2/4 RAR. As the custodians of the Infantry Scarlet Lanyard and for their service to all ranks and units of the Army, 4 RAR thanks 10 IRC and 311 Raider Battalion and offers them, WELL DONE!