Designed for soldiers to test their stamina and mental fortitude, the third annual Canadian Patrol Concentration (CPC) is taking place in Wainwright, Alberta from Nov. 13 to 24.
The CPC is hosting 200 members of the Canadian Army as well as 40 international participants.
“The Canadian Patrol Concentration is a realistic training scenario and a testament to the Canadian Army’s resilience and fortitude. International participation underscores the value of this type of training and demonstrates the strong ties between our allies and the Canadian Army. I am convinced that participants will find the concentration both challenging and rewarding,” said Lt.-Gen. Marquis Hainse, Commander of the Canadian Army.
The Patrol, both physically and mentally exhausting, is designed to test soldier skills and section-level leadership. The event provides junior leadership with a chance to test and build their skills.
“The reason we are doing this is to really build and give the opportunity to junior leaders to demonstrate their abilities and prove themselves in a challenging environment. We expect it of them in operations and sometimes we take for granted their abilities but this is an opportunity to test them and recognize them and give them an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities to their peers and the rest of the Army,” said Lt.Col. Rob Tesselaar, Chief of Operations Group for the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre.
Tesselaar says this is important because at the foundation of Army operations is the junior leadership “where orders are turned into actions.”
The patrol, also, not only focuses on leadership but the entire patrol team as they navigate unpredictable terrain and weather to accomplish a mission as a team.
Four teams arrive daily over the course of a week. Once logistical and administrative procedures are taken care of, the teams get right into the challenge. To make the Patrol as immersive and realistic as possible, the eight-member teams are inserted to the designated area by helicopter after spending 72 hours receiving their orders and going through patrol battle procedure.
The team’s mission is a reconnaissance mission over 35 kilometers of terrain. The teams also face “enemy” combatants and must move tactically while keeping time constraints in mind to avoid being compromised by the enemy.
After spending close to 30 hours on the ground, they must safely be extracted to friendly lines where they are debriefed on the mission.
“We hope that the teams are leaving here with that sense of accomplishment. That they’ve faced and overcome a good mental, physical and leadership challenge, that they’ve learned from it and that they’re going to leave here as better soldiers and are able to bring some of those skillsets and some of that sense of pride back to their home units and pass it on to the next generation,” noted Tesselaar.
Along with the 200 members of the CAF at the Patrol, 40 members from allied forces, including Australia, U.K., and the U.S., are participating. This is the first time the CPC has welcomed international allies.
“The interaction and interoperability with international partners is important for the Army because that is the nature of modern operations. We operate in a coalition environment we operate with our allies all the time so we want to inspire a bit of that esperit de corps amongst our partners as well,” said Tesselaar.
The CPC is organized by the Canadian Maneouver Training Centre (CMTC). The CMTC designs and organizes realistic and challenging training to deploying and high-readiness units of the CAF. The CPC is organized annually by the CMTC to provide soldiers with a safe and challenging practical test.
CMTC is part of the larger Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre, which plans and manages the intellectual development and training of the Canadian Army.
Above Photo:Australian Soldiers confirm their zero before going “live” during the Canadian Patrol Concentration (CPC) in Wainwright, Alberta, November 16, 2015. Image by: Corporal Jay Ekin. Wainwright Garrison Imaging.