|2nd Cavalry Regiment|
Cap badge of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment
|Active||1965 – Present|
|Part of||1st Brigade|
Quick – Garry Owen/The Girl I left Behind Me|
Slow – Song of Joy
|Mascot(s)||Australian Wedge Tailed Eagle|
31 October – Beersheba Day|
20 November – Regimental Birthday
HRH The Prince of Wales|
|Unit Colour Patch|
The 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2 CAV) is a cavalry regiment of the Australian Army. The second most senior regiment in the Royal Australian Armoured Corps, 2 CAV serves in an armoured reconnaissance role and is attached to the 1st Brigade, based in Darwin in the Northern Territory.
- A Squadron – A Squadron, 4th/19th Prince of Wales's Light Horse
- B Squadron – A Squadron, 2nd/14th Queensland Mounted Infantry.
These two squadrons initially had no Regimental Headquarters or HQ Squadron. However, with reorganisation of the RAAC came both an RHQ and a new name. RHQ and HQ Sqn formed at Gallipoli Lines, Holsworthydisambiguation needed on 20 November 1970. In order to avoid confusion, it was decided that the armoured regiments of the regular army would be numbered sequentially; 1st Armoured Regiment was the most senior, so 1st Cavalry was renamed 2nd Cavalry Regiment.
When first formed, the regiment consisted of a reconnaissance squadron and an armoured personnel carrier squadron. This continued until 1976, when the Royal Australian Regiment took on a mechanised role, leaving 2nd Cavalry Regiment to concentrate on the reconnaissance role. By 1996, 'C' Squadron was raised. All three squadrons were equipped with the M113 vehicle in the reconnaissance role until the mid-1990s, with the regiment being re-equipped with the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) between 1995 and 1997. Among the specialised equipment used in reconnaissance by the regiment is the Australian Man-portable Surveillance and Target Acquisition Radar (AMSTAR) system which is able to detect and recognise moving targets including personnel, vehicles, watercraft and low flying helicopters. AMSTAR has a target detection and classification capability at ranges up to 35,000 metres. Although the system can be moved by a few personnel it is commonly mounted on the ASLAV-Ss. A ruggedised laptop is used for data processing in conjunction with an aural indicator.
Since being re-equipped with the ASLAV the 2nd Cavalry Regiment has played a key role in Australian military operations. In 1999, 'C' Squadron deployed to East Timor as part of the initial Australian contribution to INTERFET, with the ASLAVs providing the Australian force with the majority of its mobility and armoured support during the early days of the intervention. Detachments from the regiment supported all subsequent Australian troop deployments to East Timor.
More recently, 2nd Cavalry Regiment has deployed its ASLAVs to Iraq in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion. The regiment's initial role was to provide armoured transport for Australian diplomats and military personnel based in Baghdad and northern Iraq. The regiment has also formed a key element of the Al Muthanna Task Group, with the Regimental Headquarters commanding the initial rotation and a squadron from the Regiment forming part of the first two rotations of Task Group elements.
Currently the regiment is made up of:
- Regimental Headquarters (RHQ)
- Three Sabre Squadrons (A, B and C Squadrons)
- Support Squadron.
Each of the three Sabre Squadrons is equipped with 26 ASLAVs, while the Support Squadron provides the combat service support to the regiment.
The regiment's badge is an Australian Wedge-tailed Eagle swooping, with a lance and a banner bearing the word "courage" in its talons. This came about soon after the regiment's formation, when a competition was held to design an appropriate badge. A bird-of-prey was decided upon due to the regiment's reconnaissance role. The Wedge Tailed Eagle was chosen due to its "keenness of sight and ability to roam over large distances". The badge was awarded in 1967. Within the regiment, the badge is known as "the chook on a stick"; chook being colloquial Australian for a chicken.
The regiment's first Guidon was presented in 1972, when 'A' Sqn, 3 Cav Regt was transferred to 2 Cav Regt. This was lost when the Officers Mess was destroyed by fire in 1990. A new Guidon was presented the same year.
The regiment's mascot is a Wedge-tailed Eagle named "Courage". Since its formation, there have been two:
- Courage I: Trooper Courage was presented to the regiment as a six-week old eaglet in 1967, and participated in virtually every regimental ceremony from 1969 onwards, including taking part in the House Guard for HM The Queen in 1974. Courage rose to the rank of Sergeant before she died in 1987.
- Courage II: A new mascot, again named Courage, was presented to the regiment in 1987. His first major ceremonial occasion was as part of the guard for HRH The Prince of Wales during his visit to Australia in 1988 for the bicentennial celebrations. In 1997, while on flight training with his handlers, Corporal Courage refused to cooperate and flew away, not being found for two days following an extensive search. He was charged with being AWOL and reduced to the rank of Trooper. He was promoted back to Corporal in 1998.
The 2nd Cavalry Regiment holds the following battle honours, which it inherited from the 2/6th Cavalry (Commando) Regiment:
- North Africa 1940–41, Bardia 1941, Capture of Tobruk, Cerna Giaabub, Syria 1941, Meejayun, Adlum, Sidon, Darmour, South West Pacific 1944–45, Liberation of Australian New Guinea, Abau-Malin, Anub River, Maprik, Wewak, Wirui Mission.
- Hopkins 1978, p. 237.
- Hopkins 1978, p. 298.
- Hopkins 1978, pp. 237–238.
- Varshney, Lav, Ground Surveillance Radars and Military Intelligence, p.4, 30 December 2002, Revision No. 2, Syracuse Research Corporation, NY
- "Traditions of Australian 2nd Cavalry Regiment". Department of Defence (Australia). Archived from the original on 27 May 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070527173040/http://www.defence.gov.au/ARMY/2cav/traditions.html. Retrieved 2 February 2007.
- Hopkins, Ronald (1978). Australian Armour: A History of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps 1927–1972. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. ISBN 978-0-642-99414-1.
- 2/6 Cavalry Commando Regiment and 2nd Cavalry regiment Association
- 2nd Cavalry Regiment official website
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