ARCHIVED - Canadian Patrol Concentration 2014

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Article / November 27, 2014 / Project number: 14-0258

Wainwright, Alberta — Inserted deep behind enemy lines, his patrol has navigated day and night through snow, rain, mud and ice to arrive at their objective. So far they have avoided enemy patrols and defeated tripwires rigged to flares. Through the green and black of his night vision goggles, he can see his soldiers on their stomachs in the snow beside him. The enemy is in heated tents and he can smell their dinner on the cold breeze. As a Master Corporal, he has been trusted to lead this patrol – he is tired, wet and begins to have doubts.

Their mission is to gather intelligence on the enemy and report back without being detected.  Being detected would mean a world of hurt for their patrol. His patrol. He slows his breathing and all thoughts of cold, hunger and thirst evaporate as he quietly signals for the members of his team to execute his plan. He watches as their forms melt into the treeline.

Hosted by the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre (CMTC) from November 14 to 24, CPC 2014 provided an opportunity for Regular and Reserve Force soldiers from across Canada to competitively practice patrolling in an infantry reconnaissance patrol format.

With temperatures swinging from -20 degrees Celsius to above freezing and then back down to -10, patrols had an opportunity to train in snow, rain, mud, ice and more snow.

“Not every team was able to complete the course,” says Chief Warrant Officer Martin Colbert, the Formation Sergeant Major for the CMTC. “Every single team, however, will take home patrolling experiences that can only be earned through hardship.”

Twenty-four patrols, consisting of eight 8 members each, were required to travel on foot more than 40 kilometres in inclement weather in order to gather information on an enemy played by CMTC Contemporary Operating Environment Forces (COEFOR).

COEFOR members lived and operated in the field throughout the event to provide an active enemy designed to test the patrolling skills of CPC 14 participants.

Located in Wainwright, Alberta, CMTC facilitates the design and execution of immersive collective training opportunities for the Canadian Army and the Canadian Armed Forces. This training provides a realistic and challenging full-spectrum, contemporary operating environment, which enables learning and confirmation for designated high readiness forces.

By Captain Graham Kallos, CMTC Public Affairs

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