Check Points and Check-Ins

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Article / May 19, 2016

By: Major Andrew Beauchamp

Soldier skills and section drills are the building blocks of a successful infantry platoon just as maintaining a strong relationship with the community is the foundation of a successful army reserve unit.  Over the weekend of April 15 to 17, 2016 A Company, The Calgary Highlanders, deployed to Rocky Mountain Cadet Camp, to build soldier skills while also using this as an opportunity to connect with the community.

The training on Exercise SPLIT GRIZZLY focused on the conduct of vehicle check points.  A vehicle check point is a task performed to control the flow of personnel and vehicles in to or out of an area.  Within the vehicle check point there are a number of tasks that soldiers perform such as cut-offs, search teams, and a quick reaction force.  Each of these tasks tests a different soldier skillset while also challenging leaders within the platoon. As many of the soldiers of A Company had never performed vehicle check points initially the training focused on occupation and simple scenarios with compliant participants to reinforce soldier skills and solidify platoon drills. 

A cadre of soldier and non-commissioned officers contributed their experience from tours to Bosnia or Afghanistan to aid the training and add realism to scenarios.   As the weekend progressed the scenarios became more complex and called on soldiers to use an appropriate escalation of force, react to enemy ambushes, establish casualty and detainee collection points, and integrate with a quick reaction force.  The exercise culminated on Sunday with the establishment of a snap vehicle check point which brought all the skills and drills together in a platoon context.

Exercise SPLIT GRIZZLY also allowed A Company an opportunity to build relationships.  On Saturday afternoon A Company hosted Rachel Moore, the recently appointed Alberta Chair of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council.  While visiting the training Ms. Moore had an opportunity to speak with soldiers and see how they train.  This provides important context in to enable the Canadian Forces Liaison Council to advocate for soldiers. 

Exercise SPLIT GRIZZLY also provided A Company an opportunity to recognize Rob and Bonny for Hidden Trails Adventures for their assistance during a casualty evacuation on Exercise  ROAMING GRIZZLY in March.  Finally, after training was complete on Sunday A Company had the privilege to connect with two cadet units who were also training in the area.   The cadets from Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps ‘344’ Victoria and Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron ‘604’ Moose visited with soldiers from A Company to learn about the army reserve and see a variety of equipment and weapons carried by infantry soldiers.

All the soldiers who participated on Exercise  SPLIT GRIZZLY should be proud of the development of their skills and also the professionalism and commitment they displayed while connecting with the community. 

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