The Town of Drumheller and Starland County provided the setting for an Army Reserve training exercise during the weekend of March 19-21.
The main purpose of the exercise was to build and enhance soldier skills such as patrolling and reconnaissance.
During their 36 hour long exercise, reservists set up camp at the Drumheller Municipal Airport, where their communication centre was established, covering an area from Horsethief Canyon to Wayne.
In this exercise scenario, troops were in a foreign country trying to interrupt supply lines going to insurgents in another part of the country. Drumheller was one of the transfer points, and a presence needed to be established to disrupt the supply line.
The first stage of the exercise was to do a full reconnaissance of the area, which was done on the ground and with the use of helicopters, as well as setting up good communication lines. Reservists would find out information about activity in the area by observing and talking to civilians, and then relay the information to the communication centre.
Information was gathered and consolidated to make a picture until the end of the exercise when the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Coates of the King’s Own Calgary Regiment was to be briefed and would check how consistent the information was in terms of what was observed on the ground.
“This will show how robust our information passage is. This is an important skill set for us to have for overseas places like Afghanistan, Bosnia, or any future places the government chooses to send us, and then of course if we are dealing with a domestic crisis, unarmed domestic responses,” explained Lt. Col. Coates.
The landscape of the area enabled Army Reservists from 41 Canadian Brigade Group (Alberta’s Army Reserve Formation) the type of training they need to be able to work in complex environments they may encounter during future overseas missions or domestic emergency.