From the 19th to the 23rd of September, 2 Troop B Squadron was put in charge of running the weapons familiarization range for Exercise COLLABORATIVE SPIRIT. The range was held at Juliet Tower in training area of Garrison Petawawa. VIPs from different walks of life came out and interacted with the soldiers, including big business executives, Members of Parliament, and senior military members. For the Weapons Familiarization stand we had a number of weapons laid out to teach our guest on how to properly handle and fire them. We had the majority of weapons in our arsenal, to include shotgun, 9mm pistol, C-7 and C-8 service rifles, M203 grenade launcher, C9 and C6 machine guns, C16 automatic grenade launcher and finally a LAV 3 and Coyote 25mm turret. Each morning we would depart the hangar at 0700 hours to commence set up for the day’s activities. This involved setting up targets, loading weapons magazines, preparing vehicles and weapons for firing, and ensuring the trenches were ready and presentable prior to the VIP’s arrival. At approximately 1030 hours every day, our guests would arrive and start with the day’s activities. On the opposite side of the firing pad, members from C Squadron would conduct a fire power demonstration with their Leopard 2s while 2nd Regiment of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery fired off Mortars and the M777 Howitzer. Between our stand firing and C Squadron, you can imagine how loud it was on the firing pad. Static display stands were also set-up showcasing the Coyote surveillance systems and Raven troop had their MUAS drone. Over the course of the week, I was involved with the 25mm familiarization shoot stand. There was nothing but positive feedback and smiles from ear to ear as people got out of the turret. You could tell that for our guests, being out there and experiencing a small part of what we do, genuinely made their day. Exercises such as this are crucial in maintaining a good rapport with our civilian counter parts. Hopefully this continues on for years to come.
MCpl Thomas coaching a VIP at Ex COLLABORATIVE SPIRIT while firing a
12 guage shotgun.
MCpl Drotar coaching a VIP at Ex COLLABORATIVE SPIRIT while firing the
C8 service rifle on full automatic fire.