1st Armoured Regiment is an armoured regiment of the Australian Army, and is the senior regiment of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps. The regiment is also the only one in the Australian Army to be equipped with main battle tanks. The regiment provides the basis for one of two battlegroups within 1 Brigade, the other coming from 5th/7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
The regiment was formed as the Australian 1st Armoured Car Squadron in 1946, following which it served as part of the occupation force in Japan following the Second World War. After the unit’s return two years later, it was expanded to a full regiment and renamed as the 1st Armoured Regiment, to be equipped with the Centurion. Initially though it used the Churchill. Because of the unsuitability of the Churchill, Australia was unable to provide the requested armour support during the Korean War.
In 1967, the regiment’s C Squadron was sent to Vietnam. Over the course of the next four years, all three of the regiment’s operational squadrons would see service in Vietnam, gaining four battle honours in the process.
In 1976, the Centurion was replaced in service by the Leopard 1, which it continues to use at the present. The regiment currently consists of three regular squadrons. Its Leopard MBTs will be replaced by 59 M1A1 Abrams MBTs by 2007.
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