Exercise Stalwart Guardian Comes To A Close In Petawawa
Article / September 4, 2015 / Project number: c-ar-stalwart-guardian-2015
CFB PETAWAWA, ONTARIO— After almost two weeks of hard work and training in Petawawa, over 1,500 participants of Exercise STALWART GUARDIAN 15 (SG 15) have completed training and have returned to their home units across Ontario. The exercise was geared specifically for training Canadian Army reservists from 4th Canadian Division.
During the year, many reservists only train with their units one or two evenings a week and on the occasional weekend exercise, so two weeks in the field represents a much larger and more comprehensive training opportunity.
“On SG 15, we were exposed to new techniques from more experienced soldiers. Wehad time to go from ‘learn’ to ‘validation’ in oneexercise,.” said Sergeant Devin Turner of the Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment). “These kinds of exercises are essential to our career development. The more we train with the regular force the better, because we end up on operations with them.”
SG 15 allowed soldiers from different occupations to participate in stand-based training for the first phase of the exercise, providing opportunities to refresh and hone their individual and trade-specific skills.. In the latter phase, the scope of the exercise was expanded to include defensive and offensive operations with multiple elements of the training audience, supporting one another to increase effectiveness.
Captain Stephen Jarvis of The Toronto Scottish Regiment (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s Own) described the progress on the exercise as an exceptional learning accomplishment for the participants. “There is a strong correlation between time in the field and skill level. This is true for leadership as well as individual soldiers.”
For many in the training audience, it wasn’t just the length of time and focused training, but the breadth of activity to which they were exposed and involved in. Training activities included infantry on defensive and offensive operations, armoured reconnaissance, indirect artillery support, helicopter medical evacuations and bridging rivers for both infantry and vehicles.
“The skills learned here can apply to all kinds of operations," said Lieutenant-Colonel Gary McQueen, Commander of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment) when describing the training. “The size of the exercise makes it complex. There are many elements which require good command and control. For the soldiers, it was great because they got to see where their role fits into a much larger picture.”While the training is difficult, the lessons learned are incredibly valuable and contribute substantially to helping soldiers to maintain their skills so that they are ready to assist Canadians whenever and wherever they are needed.
Written by Lieutenant (N) Dan Karpenchuk
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