Australia's Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell AO, DSC, was on hand today to open the Arthur Francis Centre at Singleton's School of Infantry and to present the winning trophies including the Duke of Gloucester Cup in the annual competition between infantry battalions .
Mr Francis, passed away last year, but his wonderful legacy and commitment to the Australian Army which he served with distinction, will be forever remembered with the opening a a recreational centre to be used by soldiers during their time at Lone Pine Barracks.
Support from community groups helped to refurbish the centre to make it a very comfortable and convivial place for soldiers to come and relax in and enjoy each others company, said Singleton’s School of Infantry Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Scott Morris.
Mr Francis’s family were joined by members of Singleton Legacy and the RSL for the official opening before the presentation of trophies in the Duke of Gloucester Cup which was won by the Townsville based 2RAR.
About the competition:
On 15 Jul 46, the then Governor-General of Australia, His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, presented a Cup to the Australian Army which was to be awarded annually as part of a competition between infantry battalions. The competition is held each year at the School of Infantry, in Singleton NSW.
The seven battalions conducted internal trails in early 2017 to select their top eight soldiers who would form their DOG CUP section. Since that time the teams have been training, building their physical fitness, their tactical skills and mental toughness to prepare them for the competition. After all their training, each soldier is a master on his weapon, is physically and mentally robust and most importantly has complete trust in his mates beside him in any situation.
The soldiers arrived at the School of Infantry on Friday 4th August 2017 and have been competing since arrival. They conducted a navigation exercises by day and night, with only a map and compass, over a total distance of 22km (or more). This was followed by a series of seven activities designed to test their individual skills, especially their marksmanship, first aid and fitness.
Over the middle days of competition they have worked in their eight man teams to dig defensive positions by day and conduct scenarios by night, with limited food and little to no sleep. Each section aims to prove their tactical ability in urban assaults, ambushes, peacekeeping scenarios, casualty evacuation, reconnaissance and section attacks.
On the final day of competition the teams will conduct a gruelling equipment carry and endurance activity from 2:00am, followed by the School of Infantry obstacle course from 7:00am. This will be an opportunity for filming the sections as they tackle the last challenge of the six day competition, demonstrating their physical fitness, toughness and teamwork.
The Champion Section will then go on to represent Australia in the international Cambrian Patrol competition in the UK which will be held this year in October.