Exercise Wolfpack Endeavour
Soldiers from 33 Canadian Brigade Group (CBG) participated in Exercise Wolfpack Endeavour (WPE), an annual training event focused on maintaining and honing both individual and group skills at the tactical and operational levels. Six hundred Canadian soldiers of various trades descended on the U.S. Army base in Fort Knox, Kentucky for two intense weeks. The exercises made good use of the extensive resources on base, including obstacle courses, assault courses, live fire ranges, mock villages, and advanced driving areas.
When the main infantry body was divided into two companies on the first day of the exercise, the need to optimize the limited time available and to most effectively take advantage of the resources at hand became clear. Following safety and scheduling briefings, soldiers moved to fulfill the requirements based on their trade.
A and B Companies found themselves in a mock Afghan village, situated at the base of a heavily wooded valley surrounded by mountainous stretches that separated it from the hustle and bustle of the distant garrison. Paid actors, including a mullah and village elders, children and barking dogs, increased the tense realism of the exercise, with each platoon taking its turn at presence patrols in the search for weapons and information. Through a variety of situations, including an abusive husband, beggars and inquisitive young men, soldiers found themselves thrown into the middle of a theatre of operations where the most seemingly insignificant word or motion could ignite the entire village in a firefight.
By the time A and B Coy arrived, combat engineers had already begun installing the defensive measures of the Forward Operating Base (FOB). Razor wire barricades, generator pits, machine gun nests, and an extensive network of tents enabled soldiers to conduct the presence patrols over the next several days and nights.
The mission’s objective was to secure a fortified village several kilometres from the FOB. Both the tactical and operational experience was considered invaluable in both combat and domestic relief operations.
Training opportunities like Wolfpack Endeavour ensure that the Canadian Forces maintain the high sense of readiness needed in order to fulfill their duties both at home and abroad.
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Guardsman Casey Brunelle is a member of the Governor General’s Foot Guards.
© FrontLine Defence 2012