Page 270 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 270

tested the communication and resupply capabilities and limitations of operating kilometers away from headquarters. Despite the conditions, the platoon was able to successfully find, define, and develop the enemy force’s rear echelon for destruction by follow on forces. During the exercise, Signals Platoon was afforded time to test the new RolaTube antenna. The antenna is a small, easy to pack mast kit, weighing 2.5 lbs that provides a versatile antenna capability for light forces in the field. Sniper Platoon found that the dense environment provided a great opportunity for sniper operations and new skills were developed for their employability in close terrain. The Assault Pioneer Platoon’s leadership worked with members of 1 Combat Engineer Regiment on developing core light engineer skills. Direct Fire Support Platoon deployed and were mounted in LUVWs where they acted as break-in and quick reaction force.
Combat Service Support Company was given the opportunity to exercise its employment concepts and all branches of the company were tested from the onset. The cross-border battalion deployment provided an added layer of complexity for the staff and headquarters to overcome and the exercise itself tested all elements of the company from recovery to resupply. Closed and restricted terrain, remote and dispersed manoeuvre sub-units and a non-contiguous, contested environment added to the sustainment and operating challenges. In light of these, Combat Service Support Company was able to support all sub-units in this dispersed context and gained valuable insight into how light force support must be conducted.
During the late spring, Alpha Company focused on low level training and assisted in the execution of a complex terrain operations course in Nordegg, Alberta. In early summer, Alpha Company formed the nucleus of the 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Mountain Company Group and deployed to
the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Centre (MWTC) in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California for Exercise SPARTAN ASCENT. The Mountain Company Group is mandated to conduct offensive, defensive and mobility support operations in highly demanding, off-trail complex terrain without external support. Soldiers were expected to conduct a 35km off trail, mountain infiltration with a net elevation gain of 7000ft. They were expected to go with an 80lbs load without sustainment for 72 hours. During this time, they conducted two attacks that lasted 60 minutes in duration without external support. The company group worked with the MWTC Staff and the primary training audience 3/5 (US) Marine Infantry Battalion first on collective mountain skills, and then as noble enemies during the final exercise. The Mountain Company Group also had the good fortune to work closely with US Special Forces (Operation Detachment Alpha 3236) during a company mountain assault and then again during the final exercise.
Members of Combat Service Support Company provided key support to Alpha Company, deploying alongside them for Exercise SPARTAN ASCENT. Here, the members of Combat Service Support Company were presented the opportunity to develop both their mountaineering skills and further the light force sustainment concept in the difficult terrain of the Sierra Nevada’s.
In May, Bravo Company was tasked with supporting the parade for the Governor General’s visit to the Alberta Legislature. This necessitated a significant amount of drill and parade practice in order for Bravo Company to represent PPCLI appropriately. Their hard work ensured Bravo Company were sharp for the parade, representing the Regiment with honour.
After the Governor General’s parade, Bravo Company sent a group to participate in the Inter-
   HMG Detachment, Direct Fire Support Platoon, Combat Support Company, 3 PPCLI. Setting up an attack-by-fire position along a ridge-line

   268   269   270   271   272