Soldiers, cadets train together
A plane lands at an airfield in Northern Manitoba in the middle of the night. Troops unload, set up a bivouac site and settle down for a night of sub-arctic temperatures. ExerciseWHITE SNAKE is underway.
17 Field Ambulance Winnipeg’s February 12–15 exercise supported and developed arctic response tactics, winter warfare and survivor skills, and practised medical techniques in a sub-zero environment.
“As the local medical unit, it is important for us to develop these skills,” said 17 Fd Amb CO Major Dan Ayotte.“We support the Winnipeg Infantry Tactical Group, who have been tasked to provide an Arctic Response Company.”
A second important goal for the unit was to work with its affiliated cadet unit, 38 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corp (RCACC), using the opportunity to interact with them, give them a real taste of the CF and show them that they occupy an important place in the regimental family.
The Cross Lake cadets arrived at the base site February 12 to receive their kit for the weekend. After a night under canvas, they set out on an early-morning march. At the same time, members of 17 Fd Amb were on a reconnaissance mission, navigating on snowshoes through dense forest, with ten-man tents, rucks, and full fighting order.When they arrived at base in the late afternoon, the cadets were preparing snow shelters and lining them with hay for their night’s sleep. For the troops, Saturday evening consisted of constructing a working Unit Medical Support (UMS) tent and conducting a number of realistic medical emergency scenarios throughout the night.
Sunday saw 16 teams comprising soldiers and cadets participating in an activity/skill-testing competition. Stations were set up over the two-hour course that tested competitors’ abilities in building fires, setting snares, navigating using compasses, cutting logs with Swede saws, using bows and arrows, and field medical supply improvisation. The day ended with a fireworks display.
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