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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Canadian Armed Forces personnel, both Regular and Reserve from all across Ontario participated in Exercise STALWART GUARDIAN 2019, honing and confirming the skills necessary to respond to Canadian and International requests for assistance. The exercise culminated with a large-scale attack scenario on Friday. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    After the enemy was defeated, the soldiers go through the Forward Operating Base to look for information. This is in addition to rendering aid to those who were injured. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Commander 4th Canadian Division and Joint Task Force Central, Brigadier-General Conrad Mialkowski inspects the ranks for the 31 Canadian Brigade Group Change of Command and Appointment Parade. The Outgoing Command Team Colonel Christopher Poole and Chief Warrant Officer Robert Talach welcomed Incoming Colonel Joseph Robinson and Chief Warrant Officer Mark Delarosbil. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)


 

 


Exercise STALWART GUARDIAN 2019 concludes

By Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post

Posted on Thursday September 5, 2019


About 1,700 soldiers from units across Ontario converged for two weeks to take part in Exercise STALWART GUARDIAN 2019.

Training occurred at Garrison Petawawa as well as the 4th Canadian Division Training Centre in Meaford from Aug. 12 to 25. Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel from both the Regular Force and Primary Reserve recreated demanding scenarios and tested their skills on a dynamic battleground. The training is part of the ‘Road to High Readiness’ training program, which prepares soldiers from a variety of trades to deploy at a moment’s notice.

As of fall 2019, 4th Canadian Division assumed responsibility for preparing soldiers who will be deployed on international and domestic operations.

“Here in Petawawa, we actually have a great assortment of soldiers,” said 31 Candian Brigade Group (31 CBG) Public Affairs Officer Lieutenant (Navy) Andrew McLaughlin.

The whole exercise culminated in a realistic attack, with the sounds, smells and sights of a real battle. Many of the reservists have either just come off basic training or have only spent a few months in their respective units. They were shadowed and mentored by regular force soldiers, many of whom have spent years in the CAF and have gone overseas on various deployments.

“For the young soldiers today, what they are going to get is a taste of a major battle,” said Lt (N) McLaughlin.

“There will always be challenges and missions we have to be ready for, so there is a broad spectrum of military operations in the Canadian Armed Forces that we stand ready to do to protect Canadians and Canadian interests around the world and here at home,” he added, pointing out this exercise is a perfect way to familiarize these soldiers with the realities of their job and develop the proper skills to accomplish whatever tasks are required of them.

Private Damien Heinle from the Queen’s Own Rifles in Toronto has been a soldier for the past six months and found the exercise very enlightening. During the two weeks in the field, he was met with numerous challenges, all of which he met with gusto. Learning how to conduct proper assaults will be something he will take home with him.

His sentiments were echoed by Private Sulainam Islam from The Royal Regiment of Canada, 32 CBG.

“As a reservist, being a part-time soldier and a student working with the reg force was a huge training experience because the reg force guys do this full time,” he said.

“It is very valuable training for guys like me who do this part-time, who have other priorities,” he added, noting being part of the military also helps with other aspects of his life and has helped him develop as a person in general.

2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) Commander Colonel (Col) Jason Adair watched the last battle unfold. He knows that only through this type of training will the soldiers be prepared with the necessary skill sets to respond when the Canadian Army is called on both at home and abroad.

“It brings together the Reserve and Regular Force to practice for the worst case,” he said.

With the Reserves being rejuvenated, the Regular Forces are working right alongside to collectively strengthen their skills.

“You spend a couple of weeks together in the bush, you get close and you break down any perceived barriers and build relationships that will endure in the coming years,” said Col Adair. “And there is no doubt at the same time that this has been a great training opportunity.”

Following the end battle was the 31 CBG Change of Command ceremony, held in the field. This saw the handover of command between outgoing Command Team Colonel Christopher Poole and Chief Warrant Officer Robert Talach and incoming team Colonel Joseph Robinson and Chief Warrant Officer Mark Delarosbil.