Wielding borrowed C8 carbines, and sporting oil spattered
flak jackets, soldiers from 41 Canadian Brigade Group took on a motley group of violent
insurgents in the early hours of 21 November. With an H-Hour of 0600, the attack, by A
Company of the Calgary Highlanders, was the culmination of Exercise Black Bear, staged
within the Calgary city limits.
Task Force (South), the southern Alberta based units of 41
CBG, spent two days on the streets of Calgary, engaged in Vehicle Check Points, Patrols,
Cordon and Search Operations, and a variety of smaller tasks for their Quick Reaction
Force. The A Company based TF also included a troop from 33 Field Engineer Squadron., and
an HQ/Admin Coy comprised of Signalers from 742 and 746 Communication Squadrons and
soldiers from 6 Intelligence Company.
The platoon of the fictitious Ventoran Freedom Fighters Army
and members of the equally fictitious criminal gang SLIVO was made up of junior soldiers
short on training but high in enthusiasm drawn from B Company of the Highlanders as well
as 18 Air Defence Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. 15 Field Ambulance played both sides
of the fence, providing support for both exercise play and real casualties, as well as
participating as the Opposing Force (OPFOR).
The final raid saw a huge escalation of force, as soldiers
from both NATO and Ventoran forces competed to outperform each other. What was supposed to
be a raid on a machine shop-cum-drug factory turned into an assault on a custom-made death
trap, with dummy Anti Tank and Anti personnel mines, booby traps, and well sited defenders
taking their toll on the attackers.