Task Force Tomahawk completes live-fire exercise

Soldiers from November Company of 3 RCR conduct a company-sized attack on the objective during Ex STORMING BEAR, at Garrison Petawawa, Ont.

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The Road to High Readiness was paved in Petawawa last month with live-fire combined arms training. Exercise STORMING BEAR saw Task Force Tomahawk units complete complex, combined arms, and multi-element live fire ranges in the Petawawa training area as they achieved level 4 Company and level 5 Battlegroup standards.

The Road to High Readiness is the Canadian Army’s flagship training regime that prepares soldiers for national or expeditionary deployments, as mandated by the Government of Canada. Ex STORMING BEAR was a key stepping stone for high readiness training, and sets the stage for the culmination of the training: Ex MAPLE RESOLVE in May 2017. The goal of the training is to generate a competent, confident and integrated Army brigade that can provide scalable, mission-tailored, and responsive forces for full spectrum operations.

1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions, The Royal Canadian Regiment, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, 2 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, 2 Signals Squadron, 2 Service Battalion, 2 Field Ambulance, 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, as well as other enablers, took part. Canadian Army soldiers from the Primary Reserve also participated in Ex STORMING BEAR, fully integrated into their equivalent and affiliated Regular Force units.

The complex nature of these ranges involved dismounted soldiers advancing on objectives supported by live firing armoured vehicles, 155 mm artillery, CH-147 Chinook helicopters and other supporting elements. The fact that soldiers fired live ammunition amidst these varying moving pieces is what makes high-leveled combined ranges such valuable training.

Because elements of Task Force Tomahawk—2nd Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment and C Squadron, The Royal Canadian Dragoons—are based out of Gagetown, Exercise STORMING BEAR was further complicated by the distance separating these units.

These challenges to individual soldiers, as well as unit and task force command and control organizations, helped prepare Task Force Tomahawk for fulfilling high readiness tasks next year. The task force continued on the Road to High Readiness with Ex SHARPENING TOMAHAWK, which took place in Petawawa at the end of November.

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