17/06/04 - Exercise Ferris Wheel

June 17th 2004 - After the park closed, Wonderland became a danger-land training environment for soldiers of 5 Bde’s Reserve Response Force (RRF) during the conduct of Exercise Ferris Wheel.

Reserves descended on the newly closed theme park to practice their security skills by searching vehicles, buildings and the surrounding grounds.

The training was made as realistic as possible because of the real-time threat to the nation that could see the soldiers called upon at any time to assist in a security emergency.

The park was chosen because it presented the challenges of a complex commercial environment, which could be just the scenario the soldiers would face in a call-out.

Six months of planning, including three months of detailed planning, all helped to ensure the successful training value of the realistic exercise.

Assistant OPSO with the 5 Bde RRF, Maj David Wilson, believes the RRF’s ability to support the police in response to a terrorist attack provides a valuable resource to the security of Australia.

“It presents a real-time opportunity for reservists to be called out to serve the nation,” said Maj Wilson.

“It should be a priority for soldiers in the reserve to undertake this sort of training and service.”