1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

Royal Australian Regiment Trains with 1/22 Infantry

1977

 

 

In 1977 the 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry conducted joint training operations with the 5th/7th Battalion of the
Royal Australian Regiment. Don Krewson, who served with HHC 1/22 Infantry at that time, recalled
that Company C of 1/22 was "swapped" with an Australian unit for eight weeks.

Kenneth Snyder, who served in Company C 1/22 Infantry 1976-1978, recalls:
"WOW! Yes, I was there at that time. We sent our company over to Australia and they sent one over to Fort
Carson. I was unable to go since my wife was expecting our second child at the time. I basically was CQ runner
every day in our barracks. I don’t think I have any pictures of the Aussies, but I do remember them to be wild
as hell and were kicking all the MP’s asses every night in the clubs on base and around Colorado Springs."

The 1st Battalion website was contacted by SGT Major Richard Rees, who, as a member of
Company C 5th/7th Battalion, trained during that time with 1/22 Infantry at Fort Carson, Colorado.
SGT Major Rees' comments are below.

The program whereby a US Company and an Australian Company were exchanged with each other
for training purposes was called "American Exchange 77".

Unfortunately the 1st Battalion website does not have access to records from that time, and is unable
to provide any information concerning this important historical episode. Therefore, we invite anyone who has
information, photos, stories or memories of those events to share such with us here at the website,
so that we may record and present this chapter in our Battalion's history.

Contact the webmaster at:

webmaster@1-22infantry.org

 

Badge of the Royal Australian Regiment

 

Unit Colour Patch

 

 

Above: badge of 5/7 RAR

Right: Color emblem of 5/7 RAR

     

 

 

5/7 RAR was formed on 3 December 1973 at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney by the amalgamation
of the 5th and 7th Battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment to form a single light infantry battalion.
This was the result of reductions in the size of the Australian Army following the end of the Vietnam War.
Throughout the battalion's history 5/7 RAR formed part of the 1st Brigade.

In January 1975 the battalion deployed to Darwin as part of the clean-up following Cyclone Tracy.
Between 1976 and 1978 5/7 RAR trialed a mechanised infantry organisation using M113 armoured personnel carriers.
The value of this mechanisation was demonstrated when the battalion was able to quickly respond to the
Sydney Hilton bombing in 1978 by guarding the route between Holsworthy and the site of the
Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting at Bowral. While the mechanisation trial
was judged a success, it was decided that only one of 5/7 RAR's companies would be mechanised,
with the mechanised role rotating between the battalion's rifle companies every 12 months.
The battalion was fully mechanised in 1984 and in 1986 the battalion's official title was changed to 5/7 RAR (Mech).

 

 

The following is the message sent to 1st Battalion website by SGT Major Richard Rees:

 

In 1977 I had the privilege of going across on exchange with my Company (Charlie Company the 5th/7th Battalion
the Royal Australian Regiment) to the 1-22 Infantry (the War Hawks) to Fort Carson Colorado Springs, September and October 1977.

We spent a lot of time with Armoured vehicles as our Battalion was about to undertake a transition to Mechanised Infantry.
We all became Honorary members of the Colorado Territorial Militia whilst there and spent many a night at the Corral Club
(the Soldiers Club) on base. We took part in the Survival, Escape, Evasion Course (SERE) with 4 MI Company,
and Mountain Climbing training in the Rocky Mountains. We visited many places around the State such as Central City
for Halloween, Pikes Peak in the snow, Pueblo (New Mexico) for the night Drag Racing, the Mile High Stadium
for the Football and Night activities in Colo Springs at the Peppermint Lounge and the Odessey night club.

Whilst we were there we also were awarded a streamer for our Company banner which says: “Fit to Fight”
which we would like to find out the origins of. ( In a further contact from Sgt Major Rees, he stated that the
"Fit to Fight" streamer was awarded to Charlie Company 5/7 RAR in the period September-October 1977,
and that the streamer remained attached to their Unit Banner during their subsequent operations in Malaysia
in 1984 and 1990, East Timor in 1999, Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2006. )

The reason I contacted you was to find out if any members of the 1-22 Alumini remember our visit to Fort Carson in 1977
and if they have any photos that they can post on the 1-22 Internet site for me to see and speak to them about.

Hope you can help me out.


Richard Rees

Australian Army (the Royal Australian Regiment)

Sgt Major (E9) retired 1975 - 2004

 

 

 

C Company 5/7 RAR - Photo taken 1977
The "Fit To Fight" streamer awarded to the Company by 1/22 Infantry is
attached to the Company guidon in the center of the photo.

Courtesy of Sgt Major Richard M. Rees

 

 

Charlie Company 5/7 RAR showing their "Fit To Fight" Streamer awarded to them by
the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson. The occasion is the winning by Charlie Company
of the 5/7 Battalion “Cross Country 8 Km run” competition in Australia 1979.

Courtesy of Sgt Major Richard M. Rees

 

 

 

The "Fight To Fight" award worn as a "pocket patch"
on an OG-106 shirt of a U.S. soldier in the 1970's at Fort Carson.
The Ironhorse emblem is superimposed over the 4th Infantry Division SSI.

Webmaster's collection

 

 

22nd Infantry training certificate awarded to Private Richard M. Rees of the Australian
5/7 RAR. Note 22nd Infantry DUI in upper left corner. Certificate is signed by LTC Hartman "Bax" Mowery,
Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry at that time. The name at the top "Warhawks"
is a carry-over from 2/12 Infantry being reflagged as 1/22 Infantry.

Courtesy of Sgt Major Richard M. Rees

 

 

 

Certificate awarded to Private Richard M. Rees of the 5/7 RAR, upon successful completion
of the Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape Training conducted by the 4th MI Company
at Fort Carson.

Courtesy of Sgt Major Richard M. Rees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Krewson, 1/22 Infantry 1976-1978
Regulars Open the NTC at Fort Irwin

Kenneth Snyder e-mail with 1st Battalion webmaster July 2013

(Editor's note: In 1976 the 2/12 Infantry was redesignated as the 1/22 Infantry. The 2/12 had the nickname "Warhawks",
and this name was kept, at least for a while, by 1/22 Infantry.)
Information courtesy of Don Krewson, 1/22 Infantry 1976-1978
Regulars 76 - 78

 

 

 

 

 

 


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