Page 271 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 271

national Jump Week training exchange in Ramstein, Germany. Bravo Company members were given the opportunity to learn from their parachutist counter- parts from Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France and the United States as well as participate in a variety of cultural exchanges and cohesion building activities with foreign forces.
Upon return from Germany, Bravo Company ran a successful Basic Parachutist serial in order to maintain airborne capability. The company also sent a grouping to participate in a training exchange and ceremonial D-Day jump with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at JBLM in Washington State. While at JBLM, members were able to participate in low level training with Alpha Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion and participated in multiple parachute airborne insertions from US Army CH-47 helicopters as well as United States Marine Corps C-130 Hercules aircraft. The exchange culmi- nated in a jump on June 6th to commemorate D-Day and was followed by a short ceremony on the DZ.
In July and August, Combat Support Company’s Recce Platoon ran a Static Line Square Canopy course. More than 90% of the platoon is now capable to insert via these means. September and October saw the platoon running a Basic Recon- naissance Patrolman’s Course with the final field portion being run near Hinton, Alberta. The heavily forested and steeply contoured terrain gave candi- dates maximum opportunity to apply the principles of navigation and field-craft.
Assault Pioneer Platoon was fully manned in June following completion of the Basic Assault Pioneer course. Members of the platoon were invited to participate with the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment to conduct mechanical and thermal breaching. As part of the Edmonton portion of Exercise REAPER BATTLE in September, the platoon focused on breaching drills in an urban environment. Taking part in Exercise URBAN PHOENIX in November with 1 Combat Engineer Regiment afforded the platoon the opportunity to conduct live Tactical Explosive Breaching (TEB). The platoon finished the year with Exercise PIONEER AXE in Brightbank, Alberta, where they honed their ability to directionally fell tress to create abatis, log obstacles, landing zones and movement corridors.
Between July and September, candidates on the Basic Sniper Course underwent the rigours of an extremely difficult training cycle and three of the candidates were rewarded with a position in Sniper Platoon. The platoon also supported Alpha Company during Exercise SPARTAN ASCENT where two members were sent on the Marine Mountain Scout Sniper Course where they received valuable training in which to further our sniping capability. The Canadian International Sniper Concentration ran from 21 – 28 September where the team finished third out of 29 teams. They then went on and finished 6th at the United States International Sniper Competition, an excellent result at an invitational event comprising of top sniper teams from around the world.
For Charlie Company, fall focus was on Exercise TOMAHAWK BATTLES during which the Company conducted Individual Battle Training Standards (IBTS) as the Battalion embarked on the Road to High Readiness for future potential deployments in 2019. A variety of training serials included Chemical,
Biological, Radiological and Nuclear drills, navigation, foreign service weapon handling, individual through to section level live fire and extensive practice of platoon and company level operations. This saw the company integrate its newer members and continue to bond as an agile and combat capable sub-unit.
While supporting company level exercises in Wainwright, Signals Platoon conducted testing on the Harris RO Tactical Radio, a hand-held radio with satellite capability allowing voice communications to a range of over 100 kms. Within the past year, the platoon has experimented and done vigorous testing on various equipment such as high frequency (HF) radios to better support the battalion.
Combat Service Support Company remains one of the busiest in the battalion as they strive to support all levels of operations and exercises thrown their way. The efforts of all members of the company during the past year has kept with the longstanding practice of professional and skilled support of 3 PPCLI. The diverse skills and important perspec- tives offered throughout the ranks of the company have enhanced battalion capabilities and maintained the unit’s reputation of being ready and flexible for any challenge.
In August, 3 PPCLI was once again called upon by the Canadian Government to assist with fire relief efforts in British Columbia under the umbrella of Operation LENTUS 18-05. The Battalion Headquarters deployed to Vernon, BC while elements of Bravo, Charlie, Combat Support and Combat Service Support Companies moved to the surrounding areas to include two forward fire camps. There, they liaised with local authorities and civilian organizations and helped to prevent property damage by conducting forest patrols, finding and putting out smoldering fires and hot spots, running fire hoses to remote areas and digging fire lines to prevent the spread of fire. Despite the long hours of physical work, the efforts by all members of the Battalion exceeded the expectations of the civil authorities and 3 PPCLI was awarded high praise by both the Brigade Commander and the Minister of National Defence.
While it has been a very busy year for the Battalion, 2019 and the Road to High Readiness will prove busier still. We are all excited for the opportunities ahead and remain steadfast with the profession- alism and excellence that has come to be expected of the men and women of 3 PPCLI.
         THE RIFLES

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