There were spectacular scenes as Australian Army soldiers practiced jumping out of aircraft at the RAAF base in Point Cook and near Avalon Airport on the weekend.
Military personnel from the 2 Commando Company, 1st Commando Regiment conducted Exercise Star Leopard on Saturday, November 20.
Based at Fort Gellibrand in Williamstown, 2 Commando Company was one of two independent commando companies established by the army in 1955 to retain the warfare skills developed by Australian commandos World War II.
Today, 2 Commando Company is part of the 1st Commando Regiment, which has headquarters in Sydney.
Many of the company’s soldiers many have served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands.
Some of these commandos took part in static line, ram air parachute static line and military free-fall parachute training at Point Cook and near Avalon on the weekend.
Dozens of Army commandos and special operations force soldiers jumped from a Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules aircraft, from just after dawn on Saturday.
Several of the 2 Commando Company soldiers are also part of the Army Reserve.
A soldier who took part in the training, who can only be named as “Warrant Officer Class Two M” due to their identity being classified, said Exercise Star Leopard was the first time since 1997 that the company has successfully conducted parachute continuation training in Victoria.
“Everybody is thrilled to be back in training again after such a challenging year,” Warrant Officer Class Two M said.
A 30-year veteran of 2 Commando Company and part-time Army Reservist, Sergeant C (whose identity is also classified), said she enjoyed being back in the air again.
“I love jumping and will always get up there as many times as I can,” she said.
“I joined the company when I was 17 because my dad was in the Air Force and I was fascinated by military service and the opportunities that it presented, like jumping out of an aircraft, shooting and other activities.”
Afghanistan and Iraq veteran, Sergeant B, said: “The weekend proved we can do the training in Victoria, and Avalon and Point Cook are great sites and very convenient for the team.”