Exercise Highland Raider, 14-16
Photos are thumbnailed, click to
Raider was conducted in southern Alberta on the weekend of 14 to 16
November 1998, supported by elements of 746 Communications Squadron (a
Calgary-based unit of the Communications Reserve), 14 (Calgary)
Service Battalion, 15 Medical Company Detachment, and 408 Tactical
The Glen, the
Regimental newsletter, described the exercise as follows, in an
article penned by an anonymous correspondent:
operations cel, after four months of wrangling with Brigade
Headquarters and 408 Squadron, finally received word that
helicopters would be available for training. No mean feat,
considering the weekend also happened to coincide with Grey Cup
weekend. The tasks were varied and designed to test the
planning and command skills of unit personnel at all levels.
The unit had to
deploy to Canadian Forces Base Suffield, Battalion
Headquarters/Administration Company was responsible for Exercise
control, control of B Echelon and sorting out which hotel the
chopper crews stayed in.
(the Bad Guys) was to provide small detachments of mobile enemy
scattered about the map. This was to force "B" Company (the
Good Guys), to produce a reconnaissance plan and execute recce
patrols, and once the enemy main force was located, plan, mount,
and carry out a Company attack.
"So let me get
this, Sarge, we're going to Suffield, sleeping on the barren
plains, and tomorrow we try to find 15 people, who are whipping
around in Iltises, who just happen to be scattered over 250
square kilometres of bald (headed) prairie. Then we make sure
they stay in one place long enough for the rest of the Company
to attack them, right?!"
"You got it,
hotshot! The Ops Warrant says we've got two of those new Griffin
helicopters. That should make the job a little easier."
you go talking like a tree fell on your head!! The only
choppers we'll see will be the six-wheeled kind with a torn
young fella, we'll see."
of, and more importantly, the not immediate disappearance of two
Griffin helicopters caused a bit of a stir. When the troops
went through the aircraft boarding and safety drills, there was
still a reluctance to believe the Ex was actually happening.
When the young
corporals, who were acting section commanders, were conducting
flight plan briefing with the pilots and being listened to, the
thoughts became "maybe this is going to happen." As the
turbines wound up, and the patrol boarded, the first rush of
adrenaline, which would turn into foot wide grins and unending
"war" stories, started to kick in. Another Highlander
exercise, literally "off the ground," and proceeding as planned.
Also on the
exercise was a "videographer" from a newly created independent
television station in Calgary; Lisa Saunders was escorted to the
field by unit Public Affairs Officer Lieutenant Brian King, and
several minutes of her footage was aired in a special segment on
the A Channel News at the conclusion of the exercise.
Despite the absence of
deep snow, the weather was cold enough for mukluks.