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Prairie reservists learn amphibious attack techniques in Comox

Mar 12 2012
Soldiers from 41 Canadian Brigade Group practise beach landings at HMCS Quadra, near CFB Comox, on Saturday afternoon, during Exercise Highland Orca. Exercise Highland Orca, which took place in Comox from March 9-11, 2012, was a unique opportunity for army and navy reservists from Calgary to train in coastal areas as they practiced methods and means of attacking from the sea to accomplish a beach landing. 

Soldiers from 41 Canadian Brigade Group practise beach landings at HMCS Quadra, near CFB Comox, on Saturday afternoon, during Exercise Highland Orca. Exercise Highland Orca, which took place in Comox from March 9-11, 2012, was a unique opportunity for army and navy reservists from Calgary to train in coastal areas as they practiced methods and means of attacking from the sea to accomplish a beach landing.

Prairie-based army and navy reservists wrapped up a three-day exercise in Comox Sunday in which they launched simulated beach attacks from inflatable assault boats along the region’s rocky shorelines.

Soldiers from the Calgary Highlanders and the 41 Canadian Brigade Group (army reserves from Alberta and Yellowknife) conducted Exercise Highland Orca.

The unique training opportunity gave the men and women from the Prairies valuable training in coastal waters, Canadian Forces officials said.

“This is good, challenging terrain for our soldiers,” Lt.-Col. Michael Owens, commanding officer of the Calgary Highlanders, said in a statement. “Soldiers need to be challenged by doing things outside the norm; it challenges my junior leaders to think outside the box, leading in environments in which they don’t normally operate.”

The beach landings were launched from naval vessels from 19 Wing Comox’s marine section. The exercise was a component in army reservists’ training to ensure they are ready to meet the challenges of complex combat environments.

“This was a neat training opportunity to come together at the platoon and company level to learn to operate on the water,” said Lt. Andrew Pittet, a platoon commander from the Calgary Highlanders. “We never fight alone and we could never do something like this without the navy’s help — it’s a long paddle without them.”

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