A joint operation training Patrol Pathfinder candidates

Patrol Pathfinder candidates on a Black Mamba inflatable boat. Photos by SLt Wilson Ho

Patrol Pathfinder candidates on a Black Mamba inflatable boat. Photos by SLt Wilson Ho


SLt Wilson Ho
HMCS Vancouver

For two days in August, 24 Patrol Pathfinder candidates rehearsed their beach assault skills on the shores of Vancouver Island during the maritime phase of their course, run by the Canadian Advanced Army Warfare Centre.

Over three grueling months, candidates are exposed to a variety of insertion and extraction techniques by air, land and sea.

To become a Patrol Pathfinder, one must be in top physical and mental form as members are expected to withstand the hardships of long-range patrolling and working long hours with minimal rest.

Once qualified, these Patrol Pathfinders will be the ones establishing drop zones, landing zones, beach sites, and tactical airstrips, securing them for follow-on forces to arrive.

From Aug. 24 to 27, the Patrol Pathfinder candidates practiced helicopter casting, which entailed being dropped out of, and being recovered by, a CH-148 Cyclone.

Additionally, candidates planned and prepared their missions on board Grizzly 60, an Orca-class Patrol Craft Training vessel, before jumping off and securing a nearby beachhead. This is one of the many joint operations the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Royal Canadian Navy regularly conduct together.

 “The ability to conduct joint operations is a critical skill for a Patrol Pathfinder, as it enables them to lead the way for their army formation,” says Captain Dufour, Officer in Charge of the Patrol Pathfinder course. “We are very thankful for the support the program has been receiving from MARPAC units over the years.”

Once these candidates complete the maritime component of the course, they will move on to Quebec for their final phase of training, which includes time spent at CFB Valcartier and around Quebec City.

Upon completion of the final exercise, successful graduates will conduct a torch ceremony at the Citadel in Quebec City and receive the coveted Patrol Pathfinder Badge.

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.