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ARMED FORCES

 

 

"IF  AIN'T  RAINING, IT  AIN'T  TRAINING"

 

 

Fraser Valley troops in battlefield response skills games in England

 

 

 

Sergeant Joanna Cisneros inspects Corporal Isaac Priyanthan prior to the Freedom of the City parade in London.

 

 

HANS MULDER, SECOND LIEUTENANT, The ROYAL NEW WESTMINSTER REGIMENT—SUBMITTED PHOTOS

SATURDAY—

 

A

27-member wing of the Royal Westminster Regiment participated in Exercise Westie Fusilier this summer (24 Aug – 8 Sep) with our allied regiment, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (RRF) in England.

 

The Westies went through a jam-packed training schedule beginning with a physical training session; friendly competition was encouraged between the units, with foot races, stretcher carries and fireman carries. 

Highlights of these included a beautiful tackle by Private Jessica Taylor, the win of the foot race by Corporal Jacob Coutu and Corporal Devin O’Reilly, and the Westies ultimately winning the stretcher and firemen carries.

The focus of the exercise was urban operations; the Westies were given training on the British military service rifle, the SA-80, given demonstrations on British urban operations drills, and then brought to an urban training environment to begin 4 days of training scenarios, lessons, and drills.  The urban training environment is a village designed to test the soldiers’ skills and drills in house clearing and operating on the urban battlefield, and includes a specially designed urban obstacle course.  Our allied regiment shared and combined their training with the Canadian Armed Forces operating procedures and helped build and hone the troops’ knowledge and skills in urban operations, as well as reconnaissance patrolling skills. 

A soldier from the Royal Westminster Regiment fires a parachute flare for illumination during night training at an undisclosed British Army training location.

In true English fashion the exercise started with rain, and the old adage “It ain’t training if it ain’t raining” came to mind, but the next 4 days showed exponential growth in confidence in the urban operations methods.  After a successful training exercise, the visiting Canadian soldiers were treated to some well-earned time off to explore the local villages and sights such as Stonehenge and an original copy of the Magna Carta. However, the work was not over. The Westies then began preparation for the Freedom of the City Parade, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the formation of the RRF, with hours of marching and weapons drill.

The focus of the exercise was urban operations; the Westies were given training on the British military service rifle, the SA-80, given demonstrations on British urban operations drills, and then brought to an urban training environment to begin 4 days of training scenarios, lessons, and drills. 

The urban training environment is a village designed to test the soldiers’ skills and drills in house clearing and operating on the urban battlefield, and includes a specially designed urban obstacle course.  Our allied regiment shared and combined their training with the Canadian Armed Forces operating procedures and helped build and hone the troops’ knowledge and skills in urban operations, as well as reconnaissance patrolling skills. 

In true English fashion the exercise started with rain, and the old adage “It ain’t training if it ain’t raining” came to mind, but the next 4 days showed exponential growth in confidence in the urban operations methods.  After a successful training exercise, the visiting Canadian soldiers were treated to some well-earned time off to explore the local villages and sights such as Stonehenge and an original copy of the Magna Carta. However, the work was not over. The Westies then began preparation for the Freedom of the City Parade, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the formation of the RRF, with hours of marching and weapons drill.

The Royal Westminster Regiment joined the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in exercising the traditional privilege and honour of Freedom of the City, in the historic City of London.  The parade marched from the Tower of London to the historic Guildhall, with colours flying, drums beating, and bayonets fixed, the Regiment led by Lieutenant Colonel Chuck MacKinnon, Commanding Officer, and Regimental Sergeant Major Mike Bergan. The reviewing officer was His Royal Highness, the Duke of Kent, joined by the Lord Mayor of London.

This was a historic occasion for the Royal Westminster Regiment because 72 years ago our predecessors in the Westminster Regiment (Motor) also marched the streets of the City of London and were inspected by the Lord Mayor then, prior to returning to Canada at the end of World War II.

International cooperation with our allies provides valuable training opportunities for members of the Canadian Armed Forces primary reserve.  If you are interested in becoming “twice the citizen” and joining the Army Reserve, visit your local Armoury Open House on September 29.  To learn more about exciting opportunities in the Royal Westminster Regiment and to join the Canadian Armed Forces Primary Reserve, contact the Recruiting Officer at 604-666-4282 or by email here.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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