Page 266 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 266

2018 was a busy, but exciting time for the men and women of 2 PPCLI. After having had at least a company sized element deployed since the summer of 2016, the battalion was finally whole again in sunny Shilo, Manitoba. However, the reunion was brief, and the unit soon found itself scattered in support of domestic operations, institutional training, and preparations for the Road to High Readiness.
The soldiers of the Second Battalion began the year by preparing to deploy to Canada’s Arctic as part of Op NUNALIVUT 2018. 2 PPCLI was tasked with commanding Joint Task Force for Op NUNALIVUT (JTF NU) that was made up of: a composite rifle company from 2 PPCLI, an infantry platoon from the 38 Brigade Arctic Response Company Group (ARCG), a joint inter-agency dive team made up of divers from the Army, Navy, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Canadian Coast Guard, plus a Joint Support Component. Throughout the operation, JTF NU was guided and mentored by Canadian Rangers from 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. After completing work up training for the operation in Shilo, the task force deployed to the Arctic in late February. JTF NU was split between two separate locations. The first element consisting of JTF Headquarters, two platoons, the ARCG, and Canadian Rangers conducted community relations and sovereignty patrols in Resolute Bay, Nunavut. The second element was composed of one platoon, the dive team, and Canadian Rangers who were deployed to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut where they conducted dive operations in addition to patrolling and interacting with the community.
In both locations, everyone involved with the operation became intimately familiar with the challenges associated with operating in an arctic environment. Temperatures in Resolute Bay dropped as low as -70 degrees Celsius, while the soldiers deployed in Cambridge Bay battled frequent white-outs which hindered their ability to support dive operations and patrols. However, the members of JTF NU were able to succeed despite the hostile conditions thanks to the advice provided by the Canadian Rangers. The Rangers provided invaluable advice on how to live, travel, and maintain equipment in the arctic. Further, as a result of community relations efforts that were made in both Resolute and Cambridge Bay, the bond between the Canadian Armed Forces and the towns’ inhabitants was significantly strengthened. In addition, the Patricias deployed on Op NU 18 made sure to devote time to Regimental activities; members in Cambridge Bay visited a Regimental Memorial dedicated to Inuk members of the PPCLI on Victoria Island, while the Task Force in Resolute Bay celebrated Regimental Day by playing a good
old fashioned game of Broom-i-Loo at the highest latitude it has ever been played. Overall, the soldiers who had the opportunity to deploy on Op NU 18 came away from the operation having learned a great deal about the arctic and the challenges associated with living there, as well as developing a healthy respect for the Canadians who permanently live above the Arctic Circle.
Upon the unit’s return from the High Arctic, the battalion immediately refocused on individual readiness and qualifications by running a variety of vehicle and weapons courses during a Primary Combat Function (PCF) Cycle and Individual Battle Task Standard (IBTS) training. Soldiers also participated in Exercise KAPYONG CHALLENGE (WINTER) 18, a section competition that focused on dismounted infantry skills. As winter turned into spring, 2 PPCLI focused on developing the next generation of Recce Patrolmen and Snipers by running the Basic Reconnaissance Patrolman Course in Shilo and Minaki, Ontario from April to June, before transitioning into leading the 1 CMBG Basic Sniper Course in Dundurn, Saskatchewan from July until September. As the remainder of the unit’s soldiers returned from block leave, they kicked off with Exercise KAPYONG CHALLENGE (SUMMER) 18, the summer section competition which focused on mechanized tactics. On top of the busy summer training schedule, the battalion still carved out some time to win Exercise MOUNTAIN MAN 2018 which was 2 PPCLI’s fifth consecutive victory in the Major Unit Category. Of note, Corporal Christian Baun finished the event, which consists of a 32km Ruck Run, 3.2km Canoe Portage, 10km Canoe, and 5km Run, first overall with a time of 5 hours and 13 minutes.
In the fall of 2018, 2 PPCLI launched on Exercise KAPYONG SPADE, commencing the Road to High Readiness. During the exercise, companies conducted section level live-fire training, before progressing to platoon ranges supported by a Forward Observation Officer Party from 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (1 RCHA). While the rifle platoons were taking part in the mecha- nized platoon range, Transport Platoon and Recce Platoon took part in a dismounted range augmented by Reserve soldiers from across 38 Canadian Brigade Group. Exercise KAPYONG SPADE culmi- nated in a defensive phase where Charlie Company sited a position, then battled all four seasons in a single night while they dug-in. Subsequently, each company took a turn developing the position, which proved to be a good learning opportunity for everyone who took part. Immediately following Exercise KAPYONG SPADE, 2 PPCLI rolled into Exercise COMPLEX KAPYONG. Since the unit had met its collective training gateways with Exercise KAPYONG SPADE, Exercise COMPLEX KAPYONG offered the opportunity to start training for Full Spectrum Operations. Soldiers conducted urban operations training, as well as stability operations training which focused on topics like convoy escort, cordon and search, urban patrolling, and crowd
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI)

   264   265   266   267   268