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Australian Army deploys first Integrated Combat Brigade

The Australian Army soldiers of the 7th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, drive an M113AS4 armoured personnel carrier during the 9th Brigade transition to the ICB held in RAAF Base Edinburgh. (Commonwealth of Australia)

The Australian Army has formed a new combat unit known as the Integrated Combat Brigade (ICB).

According to a recent press release by the Australian Department of Defence (DoD), the Australian Army has restructured Adelaide's 9th Brigade into an ICB by integrating the brigade with several full-time Adelaide-based part-time units.

An Australian defence spokesperson told Janes that an ICB incorporates the full-time and reservist members of the Australian Army in the same brigade.

The spokesperson said that the 9th Brigade is combined with the Australian Army's 1st Armoured Regiment, the 7th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, the Adelaide-based elements of the 1st Combat Service Support Battalion, and the 144th Signal Squadron to form an ICB.

“The 9th Brigade is planned to be the first integrated brigade to employ the army's modernised close combat system, consisting of the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle – Boxer, upgraded main battle tank, an infantry fighting vehicle, combat engineer vehicles, and logistic systems,” added the spokesperson.

The ICB concept is a “part of the Australian Army's modernisation plan and will create a combat brigade structure that will generate warfighting capability while also supporting domestic operations”, the spokesperson said.

According to the spokesperson, the ICB will also provide the army with broader skills to draw on, and greater flexibility to surge and deliver enhanced land power where and when it is needed.

The ICB will “simplify command and control, and improve the army's scalability, resilience, and readiness”.

However, the spokesperson did not disclose the future plans for the ICB concept.

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