1 CER conducts winter warfare training at 4 Wing

1 Combat Engineering Regiment Winter Warfare

Photo: Cpl Justin Roy, Wing Imaging

1 Combat Engineering Regiment Winter Warfare

1 CER members trained with various weapons on exercise at PLER.
Photo: Cpl Justin Roy, Wing Imaging

2Lt Camille Dolphin

Approximately 120 members from One Combat Engineer Regiment (1 CER) conducted winter warfare training at Cold Lake Air Weapons Range earlier this month.

The training took place inside the Primrose Lake Evaluation Range, a site perfectly suited for 1 CER’s needs, according to WO Anthony Anderberg, Squadron Quarter Master.

“There are many benefits to training at the PLER,” he said. “Our usual training area doesn’t offer the tree lines and the lake that PLER offers. The cold weather is also a considerable challenge. It is an area we are not used to training in and the support system is different, we are more self-supported at PLER.”

Winter warfare exercises are designed to enhance the effectiveness of Canadian Armed Forces members in extreme cold weather conditions. The main goal of the exercise is to train members to fight in a cold, semi-austere environment.

During the week-long exercise, participating members always moved on foot, carrying 40-kilogram rucksacks. They slept in ten-man tents, except on the last night when they had to sleep under a lean-to.

They built snow defences and obstacles including abatises – obstacles made from tree trunks and branches laced together and placed lengthwise facing an approaching enemy.

They then destroyed the obstacles with explosives.

Throughout the training, the members of 1 CER honed their skills on a variety of weapons, including M203 grenade launchers, Carl Gustav recoilless rifles, C6 machine guns, C7A2 automatic rifles and C9A2 light machine guns.

According to 1 CER’s Pte Jonathan Jaspers, the exercise helped the members of the unit learn practical skills like how to pack and carry a rucksack, how to dress effectively and how to work as a team, all in extreme conditions.