(Volume 25 Issue 6)
By Captain Amber Lawson, RCSU Northwest Public Affairs Officer
Royal Canadian Army Cadets from across Canada took part in Maple Resolve 2018 at Garrison Wainwright from 20 May – 25 May 2018. Maple Resolve is the premiere exercise for the Canadian Army to prepare for high readiness. The various planned activities provided the cadets a sound Canadian Armed Forces familiarization within a safe and controlled environment.
Garrison Wainwright is home of the Canadian Maneuvers Training Centre and uses the high-tech Weapons Effects Simulation (WES) system to provide valuable insight to the training of CAF members. The cadets were able to try on the WES gear and use the medical settings to provide first aid to their fellow cadets.
C/WO Colton Bulger, 1231 Kensington PEI Regiment RCACC, Kensington PEI shared, “The Weapon Effects Simulation system simulates injuries in the battlefield and gives you a description of your injury in an actual battle scenario. We played a version of laser tag using the systems, and it gave us a cool description of what was happening.”
After being provided the required equipment, the cadets headed out to the Opposition Forces camp which was being manned by American troops from Alaska. During meals, for which the kitchen provided outstanding food, the cadets had the opportunity to interact with troops from around the world
Once the camp was set up the cadets were briefed and trained on how to use the night vision goggles (NVG). Upon sunset they put their new training into practice with a short exercise. “The NVGs are real cool piece of equipment, and required great precision and they are very effective, the night hike was pretty cool.
It was challenging to see the contours but it was great”, C/CWO William Brayton, 2884 Royal Canadian Engineers Army Cadet Corps said of his experience.
Maple Resolve creates real world environments to ensure that CAF members are prepared to operate in real situations. Part of the team that makes this come to life is ACS (Allied Container Systems), using Hollywood style special effects and professional actors. They staff the villages and create medical scenarios that prep medics to handle the real-life situations. The cadets were given a behind the scenes tour on how the civilian partners bring an element of real life to field training.
Actors filling the roles of villagers are often in their areas for more than 20 days and immerse themselves in the experience. Cadets toured the village of ‘Chovdar’ and interacted with actors and CAF members throughout the morning.
“The actors from ACS were able to speak the languages that CAF members would encounter in real life scenarios. There were simulated villages of all sizes staffed by actors to train CAF members on interacting with local populations”, C/MWO Austin Deakin 2924 RCACC, Duncan BC said.
Captain William Pugh, a former Air Cadet from 921 RCACS briefed the trainees on the support the Royal Canadian Air Force provide to Army operations. With this presentation, the cadets got a better sense of the interoperability required to support the Canadian Army. On the nearby airfield the cadets got the opportunity to explore the Blackhawk and Lakota helicopters operated by the US National Guard from Nebraska. The cadets were also witness to an emergency medical call which afforded them the opportunity to see how quickly the Blackhawk can be airborne and provide the support needed in the case of a critical injury.
C/MWO Nolan MacLachlan, 2715 Army Essex and Kent, Windsor ON, said, “It was amazing to go and see something that most people don’t get to see on a day to day basis and experience something that is a once in a lifetime event. It was awesome seeing how the Air Force and Army work together to practice and do medivacs.”
After visiting the shadow UAVs, they were back to the Opposing Forces (OPFOR) camp to prepare for their evening viewing the defensive position. Major Nick George, of the Royal 22nd Regiment, led them on a tour of an intricate trench system and demonstrated how Commanders plan troop movement using traditional means with maps. Major George spent more than an hour ensuring all of the cadet’s questions were answered.
“I respect how much work and effort it took to build the defensive position and how much work goes into planning these moves, I like how they do the RECCE ahead of time to ensure opposing forces only move to a specific point”, said CCWO Sam Cateni, 2563 1st Hussars Petrolia ON.
Throughout the time at Maple Resolve the cadets were mentored by members of the CAF under the guidance of Sergeant Frederick Roby from the Canadians Maneuvers Training Centre. Each member of his team took time to explain real time events and answer questions and find real time opportunities for the cadets.
“We were trying the Military Simulation (MILSIM) equipment with the CAF members and they were truly experts. They were patient and passionate about what they were doing, they were there to help us. There was never too many questions. I was so fortunate to spend time with Cpl Lessard our driver, he took time to explain everything we saw” said C/CWO Laurie Tremblay-Martin, 221 Chicoutimi QC.
On the final day cadets participated in some simulator training. To mark the end of their time n Wainwright they attended a dinner hosted by the Canadian Maneuver Training Centre (CMTC). Lieutenant-Colonel Ryan Smith who spent time with the cadets and wished them well on their future endeavors. Mr. Ed Belanger of the Army Cadet League of Alberta presented each of the cadets with a memento of Maple Resolve 2018 before the cadets prepared for their departure.
Major Mark Rosin, the Area Elemental Advisor Army for Central Prairie Area, and OC of the exercise summed it up best, “From the first stages of contact and planning CMTC the communication and support has been excellent. CMTC staff planned and executed a schedule of varied and engaging activities in the field and on base. Cadets and Cadet Instructor cadre (CIC) staff were warmly welcomed at the daily camp town hall meetings at the OPFOR camp during the field phase of this visit. This fifth annual Army Cadet visit to MAPLE RESOLVE will be hard to beat.”