Canadian soldiers finish the last two exercises of their tour

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Article / February 9, 2017

By: Captain L.R. Benak, Public Affairs Officer, Operation REASSURANCE Land Task Force

From January 22 to February 9, 2017, approximately 100 Operation REASSURANCE Land Task Force (LTF) members participated in two exercises in Poland: BISON DRAWSKO and MAPLE DETACHMENT V. Combined, the two exercises saw the Canadian contingent operating with Dutch, Polish, German, Estonian, Belgian and US soldiers.

Exercise BISON DRAWSKO took place in the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area (DPTA). There, approximately 40 Canadian infantry, engineer, artillery, logistic and signals soldiers joined a force of 4500 NATO troops led by the Royal Netherlands Army. 

Working under the Dutch 43rd Mechanized Brigade Group, the LTF’s mission was to screen a simulated enemy force in the area of operations. This meant pushing deep into enemy territory and digging in for a week without resupply or reinforcements.  Playing this reconnaissance role, the Canadians provided key reports on enemy size, disposition, and activities back to the Dutch Headquarters for their intelligence processing.

About 120 km to the south, Exercise MAPLE DETACHMENT V took place in the Wedrzyn Training Area, where 1 and 3 Platoon members trained in one of the largest military urban operations complexes in Poland. The exercise focused on having the platoons practice their approach, breach, and entry drills in order to defeat simulated enemy forces inside large multi-level buildings.

“The facilities in Wedrzyn Training Area provided the soldiers of 1 and 3 Platoon a realistic setting to conduct highly-skilled manoeuvres in a complex environment,” said Alpha Company 2IC Captain Julien Beaulieu. “This exercise not only improved the soldiers’ urban warfare drills, but it also gave them the knowledge and experience to return to Canada and pass on their freshly-honed skills to their peers back home.”

At the end of both exercises, the troops came back to DPTA to prepare for their handover to a new group of soldiers who will replace them.

“The successful completion of these final two exercises is a testament to the LTF’s hard work and professionalism over the last six months. I am very proud of how the men and women of Rotation 6 have performed. They not only brought great credit to the LTF, but they also proved that they belong among the ranks of the best soldiers in the world,” said Commander LTF, Major Lonnie Campbell.

The change of command ceremony will take place near the end of February 2017. Once in theatre, the new rotation of Canadian troops will continue the LTF’s assurance and deterrence measures through the provision of military capabilities for training, exercises, demonstrations and assigned NATO tasks.

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