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Exercise HIGHLAND ISLAND: 8-10 March 2013

On 8-10 March 2013, approximately 70 Calgary Highlanders travelled to Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt to train with units of 39 Canadian Brigade Group and 41 Canadian Brigade Group in an ambitious exercise. "A" Company of The Calgary Highlanders, working closely with signals and medical support, along with combat elements of The Loyal Edmonton Regiment (4 PPCLI) conducted a practice amphibious assault using powered inflatable assault boats, assisted by personnel of the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Military Engineers.

Preparation is always key; a day of training on equipment and rehearsals followed the reconnaissance missions and final attack on the objective. Company Sergeant Major Tucker (hatless) and the Officer Commanding "A" Company, Major Palmer (centre) talk with platoon and section commanders about the weekend's training early on Saturday morning.

Battalion leadership also helps chart out the weekend's activities. Captain Boyle (Officer Commanding "HQ" Company), Lieutenant-Colonel Owens (Commanding Officer), CWO Besse (Regimental Sergeant Major), Sergeant Arnott (Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant) and Major Clapperton (Deputy Commanding Officer) listen to Captain Beauchamp (Operations Officer) reviewing the plan with the help of his map in the unit administration area.

Weapons, accessories and ammunition are issued as just one of the major logistical problems of transplanting 100 soldiers from Alberta to the B.C. coast for the weekend with all their equipment and necessities for living and fighting.

Captain Beauchamp gives the safety and environmental briefing, ensuring that soldiers operate in a manner as free from physical harm to themselves as possible, and also respectful of their natural surroundings.

Safety boat with crew from the Royal Canadian Navy, out to assist the exercise.

"A" Company motors its way ashore from the ocean. The boats were manned by sappers of the Canadian Military Engineers, while soldiers of The Loyal Edmonton Regiment were among the assault force. The enemy force was provided by The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's).

The second assault wave comes ashore.
Beach security.
Progress of the assault is tracked in the Command Post.

Reconnaissance Detachment posing on the dock while waiting for extraction following the company assault on the final objective.

Reconnaissance Detachment being extracted from the landing site.

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