Members of the 1st Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment, dressed as enemy force, on patrol during Exercise Maple Resolve in Wainwright, Alberta, on 1 June, 2016. Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE is an annual collective training event held in Wainwright, Alberta as the final confirmation gateway for the High Readiness Brigade designated for any potential international operations. This year’s High Readiness Brigade is formed by 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group out of Edmonton, Alberta and Shilo, Manitoba.(Photo by Cpl Andrew Wesley, Imagery Technician - Directorate of Army Public Affairs)
Sapper Fabio Frechette of 2 Combat Engineer Regiment sights enemies through the scope of his C7A2 Rifle during Exercise Maple Resolve in Wainwright, Alberta, on 1 June, 2016. Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE is an annual collective training event held in Wainwright, Alberta as the final confirmation gateway for the High Readiness Brigade designated for any potential international operations. This year’s High Readiness Brigade is formed by 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group out of Edmonton, Alberta and Shilo, Manitoba.(Photo by Cpl Andrew Wesley, Imagery Technician - Directorate of Army Public Affairs)
D Squadron RCD participates in Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE
By Cpl J. Smith
Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2016
D Sqn’s MAPLE RESOLVE adventure began at the Ortona drill hall at Garrison Petawawa at 0200 hrs on 9 May 2016 ready to catch our flight to CMTC Wainwright AB. Despite the early morning, our travel day went without a hitch and moral was high as we landed in Cold Lake AB. Several hours later we arrived at Camp Springbok in Wainwright. The camp was well set up with all of the amenities to include showers, a gym and even a barber. Our troop (Tp) quickly found our tents and settled into our new home in Alberta.
Our first days in Wainwright were spent organizing vehicles, bore sighting and activating the WES system. WES is a state of the art battlefield tracking system that brings a level of realness to our training that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. The system allows the user to engage enemy vehicles and personnel using laser technology and simulates battlefield effects. D Sqn was tasked as a Direct Fire Sqn for the 1 Port au Prince Guard – the designated OPFOR for the exercise. As a result, the Sqn was reimagined with WES simulated BMP 1s equipped with 73 mm cannons and Sagger missiles. As a result, our exercise preparations included visually modifying our fighting vehicles to create the illusion of a larger barrel and rocket pods.
The force on force exercise started on 22 May 16. During the exercise I was employed as 42’s gunner. The first morning of the force on force we donned tan combats – to ensure we looked different from 1 Brigade (who were the Primary Training Audience for the exercise). With all our preparations complete, we left camp bound for our battle positions where we were to block the enemy from taking a key town called El Pinan. During this phase of the exercise, we were to bring the fight to the enemy.
Over the next day we skirmished on and off with the tanks and LAVs from the PTA. During these initial stages our Tp took several casualties but we left our mark on the PTA causing them to reconsider aspects of their advance. Unfortunately, by days’ end, the advancing enemy captured the Town of El Pinan. Our forces withdrew to a strongpoint to regroup and establish a defensive position.
Over the next 12 hours we adopted a hide to rest up for the upcoming battle. The battle came quickly and we were stood to in order to defend the strong point from an imminent enemy attack. As the enemy advanced, they were initially unable to locate our positions.
In the ensuing battle I effectively engaged and killed 2 x LAVs. I also engaged 2 x Leopard tanks but they managed to escape. All over the battle field, D Sqn successfully engaged the advancing enemy forcing them to withdraw. Over the next few days we continued to fight the PTA but eventually their superior numbers won the day and we were forced to withdraw over the Battle River.
We were now a few kilometres from Camp Springbok – we could smell the flying kitchen but the battle continued. 49 issued new orders, we were to re-cross the river with a mission of defining and destroying the enemy. We went in hot - a little too hot. 42A was quickly killed by a Troop of tanks and we were forced to regroup. Considering the size of the PTA force on the other side of the river, we decided to go back to using Recce tactics. We put our Coyotes into patrol bases and conducted dismounted patrols with the Sagger missiles. During this phase, 41 and 44 were completely destroyed by the enemy. Despite this, our dismounted patrol was effective in eliminating 1 x tank and 1 x LAV. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it back – all four members were killed. The surviving members of the Sqn were left surrounded by tanks and LAVs. Fortunately, our camo managed to keep us hidden and we had to wait for night before escaping back over the river to prepare for the PTA’s final attack.