Ex CHARGING WOLVERINE
On a cold November morning, B Squadron deployed to the field again to be OPFOR for Exercise CHARGING WOLVERINE. The exercise was designed to test deploying troops for their battlefield readiness. B Squadron took the opportunity to also train their troops in offensive, defensive, and rear area security tasks.
The week before deploying, B Squadron had readied their vehicles and made them out to be OPFOR AFVs. Burlap was draped over sections of the vehicles and cardboard cannons and missiles attached to the turrets. The troops wore old style olive drab combats to stand out as a mismatched enemy militia.
B Squadron deployed two troops to cover off the training area in a defensive posture. 1 Troop screened the roads and wooded areas providing flank security and 2 Troop forming small defensive positions across the Mattawa plain. The soldiers dismounted and dug in their position using sandbags and wire obstacles to form small kill zones designed to delay and attrite the Battlegroup. Late afternoon of the first day, forward recce spotted a B Company 1RCR LAV column approaching the defensive area. 2 Troop’s initial five man defensive position was overrun by an entire Company of mounted infantry. A valiant struggle was put forth and B Squadron were able to inflict losses on the Battlegroup despite the small size of the defenders. By the time the Battlegroup’s advance had hit the second defensive position the weather had turned into a snow squall. Visibility was less than 100m this aided the defenders, allowing a countermoves force to harass the Battlegroup as it tried to advance. Eventually all of B Squadron’s positions were completely overrun by the Battlegroup and the remaining OPFOR soldiers withdrew for the day.
The next day, B Squadron regrouped to provide a new defensive position for the Battlegroup to assault. This time, 1 Troop created small defensive positions in front of a larger troop sized defensive position occupied by 2 Troop. To reinforce 2 Troop’s delay, 3 Troop deployed via Chinook helicopter to assist in the battle. Armed with 40mm DRWS, 30mm cannons, small arms, pyro, and 125mm cannons in depth. The combined troop effort established a concealed trench system, covered by interlocking fields of fire from AFVs and multiple low wire obstacles. The Battlegroup rolled into B Squadron’s early defensive positions slowly making their way to the final trench line. Once the Battlegroup hit the final position a mix of smoke, pyro and mobile vehicle defensive run ups delayed their advance for an hour before inevitably falling to the Infantry Company Attack.
After providing enemy force for the Battlegroup, B Squadron managed to fit some training of their own in. B Squadron OC linked in with 450 Squadron to do some collaborative training. In the early morning a call was sent to B Squadron for assistance with a downed Chinook helicopter in their AO. B Squadron deployed two troops to secure the area and provide local support for recovery efforts. This was a great opportunity for the troops to get experience working with other elements and build upon the previous day’s activities when the Chinook dropped dismounted B Squadron soldiers into the defensive battle.
B Squadron returned to their lines after successfully providing training to the deploying Battlegroup and getting some unique training of their own. The soldiers walked away with some new insights and knowledge which will serve them well moving forward.