Soldiers train in the sea environment

3PPCLI on a RHIB exercise

Members of 3rd Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI) await instructions for the dismount entry exercise where they roll off simultaneously into the water and swim to shore.

Edmonton-based soldiers spent three weeks on the island jumping from helicopters, zipping around the ocean in rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB), and earning their sea legs on Orca patrol training vessels.

More than 300 soldiers from the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI) were at Albert Head, March 9 to 28 for Exercise Spartan Trident.

The joint training exercise, which included naval and air assets, helps prepare the army’s light infantry to operate within a joint construct in littoral areas and rugged terrain.    

“Light infantry is all about mobility and our ability to adapt,” explained WO Todd McKee. “These training exercises give our soldiers a wider understanding on integrating navy, air force and army tactics into one.”

This exercise had platoons rotating through various naval and air force platforms, such as helo casting from a Sea King helicopter, and recovery skills of a capsized inflatable boat, as well as numerous small boat operations in conjunction with the Orca training vessels.

“This exercise has proven to be very successful with the comprehensive integration with both the navy and air force. It has exposed our solders to new skill sets within a Maritime environment. Being from Edmonton, we are used to operating within a prairie or mountain environment and have limited experience with maritime operations. This has been a great learning opportunity for these men and women,” said WO Mckee.

Such training exercises enable the Canadian Armed Forces to display their capability and preparedness to undertake operations quickly and effectively in any and all regions of Canada or the world.

-Kara Tibbel, Staff Writer

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