Exercise validates training soldiers received

More than 1,000 soldiers from the Canadian Army, many of them students from the Combat Training Centre, are gathered in Gagetown, N.B. for Exercise COMMON GROUND II from Nov. 14 to 29. The Exercise is designed to validate the training students receive at the Centre in a realistic, challenging environment.

“Exercise COMMON GROUND II brings a number of individual training events together into a single collective environment to provide valuable training to our soldiers while using our resources most efficiently. With this exercise, the Combat Training Centre is able to expose its students to a realistic combined arms experience that will be useful as they progress in their military careers,” said Colonel Craig Aitchison, Commander, Combat Training Centre.

Many of the students come from schools and units of the Combat Training Centre, including the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps School, Infantry School and Tactics School. The training brings to life a combination of computer simulations, classroom and practical instructions the students receive at the Centre. It provides an opportunity for junior officers to train as part of a combined arms team early in their military careers and gives them a taste of how different combat arms work together.

However, many officers and non-commissioned soldiers from the regular Forces are attending the exercise. Soldiers representing the 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group from Valcartier and the 5th Canadian Division Support Group are present at the exercise. The Exercise fulfills requirements for seven different career courses.

Combined training events ensure that members of the Canadian Army are prepared and ready to work in a larger team when deployed on missions.

The Exercise combines a number of individual training events into one single training experience “to give students a combined combat experience while using supporting resources more efficiently.”

To simulate a realistic environment for the soldiers to test their skills, a full narrated live demonstration on an enemy position was held on Nov. 14.

And on Nov. 16 the Combat Training Centre flew out an Alpha Jet for the exercise. Flying at an altitude below 1,000 feet, within the Gagetown Range and Training Area, the aircraft was used to help create a realistic training environment for the attendees.

“Programs that result from a rigorous planning process are key to producing a combat-effective fighting force composed of first-rate soldiers. Exercise COMMON GROUND II has contributed to ensure that our well-led and well-trained soldiers have a good understanding of force multiplying affects that a combined arms approach and all its equipment can bring to a military operation,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Jason Langelier, Commanding Officer, Tactics School.

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