National Defence and the Canadian Forces

4 Cdn Division
4th Canadian Division

31 Canadian Brigade Group

Operation Yellow Ribbon

Exercise Stalwart Guardian, 13-26 Aug 2016

Every August, Reserve soldiers in Ontario – including The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry -take part in a large-scale training confirmation exercise called Stalwart Guardian. Taking place at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa (north of Ottawa), a camp big enough for large-scale maneuvres, the exercise allows our soldiers to use a wide range of skills, from live-fire to amphibious warfare to helicopter insertions.

While the attached images are not specifically of the RHLI, they are representative of the training the Rileys undertook.  Assault boat training (which is an RHLI specialty, often practiced on Hamilton Harbour), field-firing using live ammunition on special ranges, fighting in built-up areas, patrolling and heliborne insertions are common techniques for the RHLI. Many have been used in actual combat, notably in Afghanistan, and it is training that keeps these skills sharp!


A C9 light machine gun using blank ammo helps repel an enemy attack


Airsoft non-lethal weapons allow a high degree of realism indoors, with the right protective gear.


Airsoft gear also allows for a realistic enemy, here indicated by the headband.


Urban warfare is a specialized skill soldiers must master in this day and age.


Chinook twin-rotor helicopters provide a very-heavy-lift capability on the battlefield.


The Chinook’s large rear ramp allows rapid loading and unloading.

Water simply provides another way to approach your enemy rapidly and without discovery. Large inflatable assault boats can carry a section of soldiers silently across water to launch an attack from an unexpected direction.


The green and red flags indicate these soldiers are approaching a live-fire area called a “field-firing range”, where the targets may pop up randomly rather than in a long fixed line. It allows for commanders to give effective fire commands and soldiers to train for the unexpected.


Pop-up targets activated by remote wires allow for surprise, and for hits to be scored.


Smoke may also be used to screen activities and increase difficulty, just as in the ‘real world’.


The C9 light machine gun provides accurate, rapid suppression against multiple simultaneous targets.


The C7A2 rifle equipped with a 3-power scope is the standard weapon of almost all Canadian Forces soldiers.


Patrolling is a basic infantry activity to discover enemy whereabouts, even in this day of drones and satellites. It is a complex, difficult and essential skill, carried out on foot often over long distances and multiple days.


Command and control exercised by junior leaders is a hallmark of the Canadian Forces, and one of our great strengths.


The C6 medium machine gun provides the infantry with heavy firepower for sustained-fire operations at long distances.


Canadian Forces camouflage is very effective even under conditions of minimal cover, as this C9 gunner shows.


A tented camp at CFB Petawawa. Such camps provide a base for CF operations domestically and abroad, providing a source of supplies and security, and shelter from the elements when needed. The CF field system has been honed to a fine edge in looking after deployed soldiers.

Photo credits:  Private Kalabic, 48th Highlanders; Sgt Jean-Francois Lauzé, Garrison Imaging Petawawa

 

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