Canadian and American Military Police Participation in Ex STRIDENT TRACER 16: A Success Story

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Article / September 26, 2016

By Lieutenant Felix Odartey-Wellington, Ex STRIDENT TRACER16 Public Affairs Team

Gagetown, NB – After Exercise STRIDENT TRACER 16 (Ex ST 16), Sergeant First Class Johan Fechter of 23rd Military Police (MP) Company, Fort Drum, N.Y. is “looking forward to future deployments with Canadians.”

Ex ST 16 is 5th Canadian Division’s annual collective training event at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, New Brunswick. The exercise brings together soldiers from Canada and the United States Army to work in a scenario set within the context of the contemporary operating environment.

5 Multi-national MP Company, the Canadian-American MP unit which deployed for the exercise, was most visible in Ex ST 16’s Battalion Group GUARDIAN, the task force responsible for combat operations within the exercise scenario. During the exercise, MPs riding in American Humvees and Canadian G Wagons were kept busy on security escorts for convoys and providing close protection for the Battalion Group leadership.

Sergeant (Sgt) Fechter, who was working with Canadian soldiers for the first time, said that “Now, I understand differences and similarities between both militaries better, and that’s good for collective integration.” He counts “making new buddies” among benefits gained from the exercise.

Private Daniel Ostrovsky of 1 MP Regiment in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for whom this was also a first experience working with American MPs, shares Sgt Fetcher’s sentiments. “This exercise helped me understand American military policing techniques and I can definitely see myself working alongside American troops on deployment,” he said. “It was really cool being able to sit down with our American counter-parts for meals, stories, laughs, and of course, firing their .50 Calibre machine guns,” he added,

Lieutenant Andrew Wychnenka, also of 1 MP Regiment, had previously deployed with American troops in Afghanistan and South Dakota. He said, “Both sides bring a ton of experience to the table. An exercise like this gives us the opportunity to continue learning from each other, which is great because we often work together in theatre.”

During the exercise, 3 MP Regiment of Halifax, Nova Scotia and 211th MP Battalion of Boston Massachussets, signed a historic agreement at Camp Normandy, Battalion Group GUARDIAN’s base of operations. The agreement celebrated the historic partnership between Boston and Halifax and committed to joint capacity-building. Captain Brian Casey, Officer Commanding the 23rd MP Company noted that “the choice of Ex ST16 for signing the agreement adds more significance to our participation in the excercise.”

Lauding the MPs, Battalion Group Commanding Officer, Lieutenant- Colonel Greg Kennedy, said that, “5 Multinational MP Company was an exemplary cohesive sub-unit, demonstrating strong leadership at every level, proficient tactical skills, considerable firepower and the desire to get as much as possible out of the training. It is my sincere hope that a similarly robust military police capability will return for future iterations of Exercise STRIDENT TRACER.” The American response? “Hooah!”

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