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    Exercise Strident Tracer 16

    CANADIAN FORCES BASE GAGETOWN, NB, CANADA

    08.26.2016

    Story by Spc. Jarod Dye 

    121st Public Affairs Detachment

    Soldiers from the Maine Army National Guard traveled to Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick, Canada this month in order to participate in Strident Tracer, the 5th Canadian Division’s annual culminating training exercise.

    Exercise events began August 19 and ends August 27, 2016.

    Canadian and American soldiers trained together to gain insight on each other's operational strategies as well as strengthen the relationship between their two militaries.

    “This AT (annual training) were doing Strident Tracer, we’re building our relationship with the Canadian Military while also helping them with their training grounds,” said Spc. Brad E. Jamison, an engineer with the 185th Engineer Support Company.

    The 185th, out of Caribou, Maine trained by conducting construction projects throughout the base.

    Their main project consisted of creating a building pad, the site for a future shoot house used to train Canadian soldiers in their tactical skills.

    The 185th improved 3 miles of roads around the construction site and demolished unwanted buildings on base.

    Jamison hopes the Canadians are impressed with the work of the 185th and will invite his unit back next year.

    Days before the 185th started their construction, the 251st Engineer Company (Sapper) used the grounds for urban mobility training.

    “The first week we were essentially enhancing those Sapper skills,” said Cpt. Brian McClellan, commander of the Sapper unit. “We were able to spend roughly about three days on the demo range where we utilized a little over 325 blocks of C4, a little over a 1000 feet of det (detonation) cord, we were also able to use Bangalores, claymore mines, and in our breeching operations we had a number of doors in order to do both ballistic explosive and mechanical breeching.”


    Soldiers from the 251st Engineer Company (Sapper) out of Norway, Maine trained with Canadian engineers, infantry and medics to improve their engineer skills by breaching buildings, communicating on radios, driving Humvees, constructing electronic explosives and creating concertina wire road obstacles.


    Combat engineers specialize in mobility, counter mobility, survivability, and general engineering.


    “It’s good [training] because Sappers are really the Swiss army knife of the Army,” said McClellan. “We’re intended to work with everybody, so the more opportunities we can get to work with these units in a training environment the more it sets us up for success in a theater of operation.”

    As additional training, Sappers called nine line medical evacuations (medevac) over radios as training for a situation where an actually casualty might occur.

    Responding to those calls were soldiers from the 126th Aviation Regiment out of Bangor, Maine. The 126th flew to Gagetown in two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters specifically configured for medevac operation.

    The unit supported both American and Canadian forces with medical evacuation training and were prepared to respond to real medevac emergencies.

    The 126th share an operations center directly with Canadian forces, giving them a lot of time to interact.

    “This year we’re living right with the (Canadian) Battalion Medical Station,” said Staff Sgt. Erika R. Yates, a flight Medic with the 126th. “They’ve come right along with us to see what we have for equipment and how to load and off load patients on the helicopter.”

    “This is a great opportunity to work out kinks we don’t ordinarily get to work out,” said Staff Sgt. Erika R. Yates, a flight Medic with the 126th. “There’s always something to be gained by how people do things different and how people do thing similarly as well.”

    Canadian Forces see Strident Tracer as a necessary exercise to build their basic soldier skills, brush up on their tactics and techniques as well as gain insight from their multinational units.

    “Major exercises such as Strident Tracer 16 gives the opportunity for primary reservists to be challenged with tools and equipment and people and resources as well that they don’t really have access to throughout the year,” Said Canadian Army Col. Michael J. Morin, commander of the 5th Multinational Brigade and exercise director of Strident Tracer. “People are very happy and are looking forward to similar exercises and similar experiences,” said Morin.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.26.2016
    Date Posted: 09.07.2016 11:53
    Story ID: 208968
    Location: CANADIAN FORCES BASE GAGETOWN, NB, CA
    Hometown: BANGOR, ME, US

    Web Views: 95
    Downloads: 0
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