Article written by Master-Corporal Alexander Loeven
Westmount, Quebec – 06 November 2019: On the weekend of 27-29 September, RMR’s B-Coy carried out various offensive operation exercises. These exercises consisted of section attacks, reconnaissance patrols and finally, a series of platoon attacks led by the RMR’s newly qualified platoon commanders, all taking place in CFB Valcartier.
The exercise began with the occupation of a hide on the night of the 27th. In typical infantry exercise fashion, the troops woke up to rain at 0600 the next morning, when they split up into their sections and began practicing section attacks. They were put through every iteration of a section attack – flanking manoeuvres, frontal attacks and contact on a road. The training improved individual soldiering skills of the troops, as well as command and control skills for the section commanders.
During the day, sections would split off to conduct point reconnaissance patrols. A few sections (such as my own) may have inadvertently encountered swamp terrain on the way to the objective. This, of course, only served to improve the soldiering skills of the troops involved. The patrols served as a basic introduction to reconnaissance to the new troops, under the guidance of more experienced members.
As the section attacks came to a close, it was time to begin planning for the platoon attacks, set to take place in the evening of the 28th. Fresh off their platoon commander’s course, 2nd Lieutenants McLaughlin and Perchun were on the line to lead these attacks.
The first attack was carried out as a flanking as darkness began to fall. The second attack was carried out in near complete darkness – adding to the challenge was marshland located where the flanking took place this time around. Despite this, the attack went according to plan, and the troops successfully destroyed the enemy in line with H-hour and consolidated past the objective before making their way back to the hide. Overall, the exercise allowed the troops, both new and seasoned, to witness the full spectrum of offensive operations. To add to this, they experienced thoroughly adverse weather and, of course, forced marches both in and out of the training area.