Exercise ROAMING SCOUT 2016

Exercise ROAMING SCOUT 2016 was the first field training exercise for the King’s Own Calgary Regiment for the 2016 year. The exercise took place in the Wainwright Training Area from October 14-16, 2016 and was conducted by A Squadron consisting of 2 Troops. For A Squadron, 1 Troop, reconnaissance training was conducted by utilizing six Mercedes G-Wagon’s filled by King’s Own Calgary Regiment soldiers, with a patrol of two vehicles being filled by soldiers of the South Alberta Light Horse.

A Squadron, 2 Troop had their hands busy conducting a C6 machine gun shoot for new soldiers on the Developmental Period 1 (DP1) course. This weekend course is being run by the King’s Own Calgary Regiment and is the initial training regarding Armoured Reconnaissance for new soldiers after completion of Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) course.

Although EX ROAMING SCOUT ’16 commenced on the Friday of October 14th, three King’s Own Calgary Regiment soldiers travelled up earlier on Wednesday of 12th October to augment positions within the regular force armoured regiment of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (RC) during Exercise MARS RAM. The soldiers augmenting the regular force positions were Lt. Sherlock-Hubbard, Sgt. Tait, and MCpl. Wennerstrom. The intent was to augment positions on the Regular Force exercise from Wednesday to Friday and upon arrival of the King’s Own Calgary Regiment, they would transfer back over to EX ROAMING SCOUT. On arrival, Lt. Sherlock-Hubbard was placed as a Duty officer and obtained valuable experience within the Command Post (CP). Sgt. Tait was placed within the Mobile Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) detachment and worked to enhance the overall picture of the battlefield to those within the CP and soldiers on the ground. Live feed from the Mobile UAV detachment was sent directly to the CP, enabling Lt. Sherlock-Hubbard real time battlefield footage displayed by a laptop within the CP. MCpl. Wennerstrom was placed within a Coyote Armoured Reconnaissance vehicle as a gunner in the 25mm Turret. MCpl. Wennerstrom shadowed as a crew commander within the Coyote, learned the basics on how to operate the turret, and learned how to use the mast mounted surveillance gear during an adoption of an observation post (OP). Although little sleep and relentless activity was a theme for the three soldiers, overall, the skills obtained from their regular force counter-parts was extremely valuable.

After deployment from Mewata Armouries, the King’s Own Calgary Regiment were greeted on Friday evening with a blanket of snow and freezing rain during majority of the exercise in Wainwright. Despite the weather, the soldiers of King’s Own Calgary regiment persevered practiced the skills of Route reconnaissance, Area reconnaissance, and occupation of an OP using the Mercedes G-wagon as the reconnaissance vehicle platform. As well, a lecture on adoption of vehicle checkpoints was taught by Sgt. Seely during this time frame. The lecture taught soldiers valuable lessons on how to setup a vehicle checkpoint, searching vehicles, and personnel searches. During the adoption of the Observation Post, the patrol that was filled with South Alberta Light Horse soldiers were discovered by the Opposing Force (OpFOR). An imminent call over the radio was made that a hasty retreat was being performed and extra vigilance was taken by the rest of 1 Troop. By the end of Saturday’s activity, a visit from one of the Sergeant Major’s of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (RC) was made to the soldiers out in the field. The visit from the Sergeant Major was due to the decreasing temperature and it was cold enough to warrant a ‘Rum Ration’. The soldiers of King’s Own Calgary Regiment gratefully and happily received this warming gift.

Upon completion of the exercise, members of the King’s Own Calgary Regiment were deployed back home to Calgary with several soldiers enthusiastically agreeing that the exercise had great training value and yielded a solid foundation for continuing on with more complex tasks and missions.

By MCpl. Adam Wennerstrom