7 RAR (Mech)
In 2006, the Australian prime minister, John Howard, announced that there would be an expansion of the Australian regular infantry by two battalions, as part of the Hardened and Networked Army plan. As part of this, a second mechanised infantry battalion was raised by de-linking 5/7 RAR to become the 5th Battalion and 7th Battalion. On 5 December 2006, the 5th/7th Battalion was formally de-linked, restoring the 7th Battalion to the order of battle.
In January 2007, 7 RAR was officially re-raised in Darwin. At this same time, ‘B’ Company, 5/7 RAR, which was serving in Afghanistan as part of Operation Slipper at the time was re-assigned to 7 RAR. During the course of its deployment to Afghanistan, members of 7 RAR received the following decorations: one Distinguished Service Cross, three Medals for Gallantry, fourDistinguished Service Medals, one Conspicuous Service Medal, three Commendations for Gallantry, one Medal of the Order of Australia, two Commendations for Distinguished Service, and one United States Army Commendation Medal.
At the same time, in Australia, the battalion receiving new intakes of soldiers and began an intensive training program which saw the battalion certified as ‘operationally deployable’ in January 2009, well before the planned date of 2010