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Posted: January 27, 2021

Local reservists taking part in winter exercise

Cranbrook’s local soldiers from 44 Engineer Squadron will be taking part in Exercise Alpine Sapper, a winter training exercise near Trail, from Jan. 29-31.

This exercise is designed to enhance the soldiers’ capabilities to operate in cold weather environments.  Skills they will apply will include constructing defences and shelters, patrolling in winter conditions, day and night navigation, and radio communications.

Training exercises are essential to ensure our soldiers are prepared when called upon to respond to a wide array of crises be they international or domestic.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Army has had to make changes to the way it trains to adhere to the guidelines set out by the government health officials, including wearing masks, physical distancing and increased sanitation.

Combat Engineers are the Army’s experts in fortification, bridge and road construction and repair, boat operations, demolitions, and much more. Reserve Force Combat Engineers have a particular focus on supporting domestic operations, such as response to natural disasters, where they may be asked to provide assistance to provincial and territorial authorities, which has occurred regularly for wildfires and floods in recent years. Combat Engineers also play a significant role in international operations.

“Protecting our force so we are able to respond to Canadians when they need us has been a top priority of leadership. As with any battle we need to adjust our tactics to ensure we still meet our objectives,” said Lieutenant Colonel James P. Julien, Commanding Officer 39 Combat Engineer Regiment.

The exercise will take place at Stoney Creek Demolition Range in Trail.  It will involve the use of blank ammunition and training pyrotechnics but will not involve the use of explosives.

The 44 Engineer Squadron is based in Cranbrook and Trail. It is part of 39 Combat Engineer Regiment, part of the Canadian Army Reserve in British Columbia.

For information about joining 44 Engineer Squadron or the Army Reserve call or text the unit’s recruiter at 236-888-9117.

39 Combat Engineer Regiment images

Department of National Defence


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