GPE 3: Winter Warfare in Valcartier

GPE A Coy OC (Major Jonacz) and CSM (WO Quesnel) enjoying the balmy Valcartier weather at ENDEX. Photo credit: Captain Carmossino

Article written by Second-Lieutenant Camille Bugel

Company troops occupying a patrol base. Photo credit: 2Lt Camille Bugel

Westmount, Quebec – 23 February 2020: On the weekend of 7-9 February 2020, RMR troops went to Valcartier for a GPE company exercise.  After a short night on base, the exercise started with a sunny and very cold day as the company conducted its rehearsals.  Then the four platoons, from the RMR, the Black Watch, 4 and 6 R22eR, that made up the company, moved out to set up a patrol base.

OC A Company giving orders on Friday night. Photo credit: WO Jim Quesnel.

Given the deep snow conditions, snowshoes were necessary to move from the road to the tree line where the patrol base was set up pretty quickly by the platoons. Stoves and lanterns were lit to fight the increasingly cold weather as the platoons conducted tent routine and had forced rest for a couple of hours before stepping off just after midnight to conduct a company raid on an enemy objective.

Medics accompanying the patrol. Photo credit: WO Jim Quesnel.

It took four hours of walking through the woods before the company got to the ORV. After a leaders’ recce, the company moved into position. The fire base, composed of the RMR platoon, was established but came under contact before H-hour. Quick adjustments were made by the company commander in order to conduct the assault and win the firefight. The Black Watch, 4 R22R and 6 R22R conducted a frontal and flanking to suppress the enemy, and worked with a great sense of collaboration to destroy the objective in less than 10 minutes. Lot of trenches were cleared and the enemy was surprised by the speed of the attack since they were distracted by the fire base.

As the old RMR song goes: “Waiting, waiting, waiting – always bloody waiting” Photo credit: WO Jim Quesnel

After the raid, all the different platoons went back to base with pride and lot of good memories,  given the cold and the challenges met during the night.

RMR platoon heading home after ENDEX – must smell lovely. Photo credit: WO Jim Quesnel

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