Wainwright, Alberta…. Along with my MP colleagues from the Standing Committee on National Defence, I joined about 3,000 soldiers from 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) from CFB Petawawa, as an observer and an active participant in Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE in Wainwright, Alberta.
Members of Parliament who do not have a significant military presence in their Riding have little idea what happens during a military training exercise. I thought it was important, particularly for the new MPs elected for the first time for the Official Opposition, to witness an actual training exercise. They truly gained an even greater better appreciation of our women and men in uniform.
Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE 1101 (Ex MR 1101) is a month-long exercise, which began October 1, 2011 and will end October 28, 2011. It is an extremely challenging training event that focused on combined arms groupings to provide high-level, complex training to nearly 4,000 soldiers. These soldiers are supported by over 900 vehicles, making this exercise the largest exercise in the history of the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre (CMTC).
As a participant in one of the scenarios as a civilian casualty, I can attest to the high level of realism in these training exercises. Proper training saves lives. We owe it to our soldiers to provide the best possible training. It was a real treat to be in Wainwright at the same time as soldiers from Petawawa to see them in action. They know I care.
CANADIAN MANOEUVRE TRAINING CENTRE
The Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre (CMTC) designs and delivers collective training exercises which replicate real-world conditions, enhancing the foundation level of training for Army units and formations. CMTC’s exercises are full immersion – allowing exercise participants to become completely absorbed in the exercise, maximizing the efficiency of the training conducted. The goal of CMTC is to ensure soldiers are ready for whatever they may be called on to do now and in the future. Exercises conducted by CMTC can be tailored to support the varied operational theatres in which the Canadian Forces may be deployed. In its exercises, CMTC uses technology and imagination to present, as authentically as possible, the conditions found within modern operations. Personnel and vehicles are fitted with laser devices that objectively register kills, serious and light wounds, and near misses. This high degree of combat realism is matched by CMTC’s faithful replication of the contemporary operating environment, which includes entire villages populated with citizens, refugees, local officials, humanitarian workers and enemy forces. Media and interest groups are also replicated to a high degree of realism during exercises.