When I first arrived in Petawawa to work with B Sqn, RCD I didn’t know what to expect. Luckily, My Troop Leader and Troop WO put me at ease as they made it clear from day one that I was considered a member of the 2 Tp and the Sqn as much as everyone else. After the week in Petawawa, we deployed to Wainwright, Alberta to begin Ex Maple Resolve 2016. After a short flight and a bus ride from Cold Lake we arrived at Camp Springbok. The first few days were spent resolving WES Issues and issuing equipment. We conducted a leader’s recce, after which we began Sqn training. The training consisted of OPs, Tp and Sqn Hides, Running Replens, Leaguers, ambushes and a Cav charge. As I am familiar with traditional dismounted OPs in the reserves, it was an excellent opportunity to see the surveillance gear put to use. A good refresher for cam and concealment came from our effort to avoid detection from the UAVs in the RCD MUAV Raven Tp that were employed to identify our OPs and Ptl bases. I’d like to point out that 22A was one of the only Ptls that remained undetected by the UAVs, However the SSM picked up our dismounts through Binos with the Arid helmet cover against green backdrop. CAV charges and ambushes were great training for the crew, but as a GIB, it really was just a bumpy ride throughout the AO.

With all of our equipment issues resolved, vehicles serviceable, and stores loaded we were ready to transition from Sqn Training to the aim of the exercise the force on force. I was excited and amped up to bring the hurt to 1 Bde when we rolled out on day 1. After a couple days of OPs we went into a screen which quickly transitioned into a guard, as 1 Bde started pushing hard. I had to collapse the OP under fire (simulated with WES and blank ammunition) from a Cbt TM which definitely got my adrenaline going. A quick resurrection later we reconsolidated into a Sqn harbour from which we conducted recce tasks along with dismounted Ptl’s into En controlled territory.

During this phase 2 Tp was detached to an Engineer Coy as fire support over watching a bridge along the battle river known as Objective Bulldozer. This provided me with a great opportunity to work with the engineers, including a crash course in how to demolish the bridge. After spending two days of dodging indirect fire and UAVs holding onto OBJ Bulldozer, 22A reconsolidated with the Sqn for a low visibility Cav charge in the early hours of the morning at which point 22A sustained our final catastrophic fatality. We then consolidated at Camp Springbok waiting the final days for End Ex. After another fantastic smoker it was time for WES turn in and remediation followed by our return flights home. I am not going to say that I’ll miss Wainwright, but it was a great opportunity and I gained a lot of experience which I am looking forward to sharing with my Regiment upon return. I would like to thank everyone in 22A Ptl, my Tp and B Sqn for their warm welcome and hospitality. As a reservist looking in I truly felt that The Royal Canadian Dragoon’s lived up to their motto: Audax et Celer / Bold and Swift.
By Cpl Westcott, A.
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