Land Force Central Area - Dept of National Defence

Land Force Central Area - Dept of National Defence

August 22, 2005 09:56 ET

Media Advisory-National Defence: Combat Exercise Prepares Army Reserve For Overseas Deployments

CFB PETAWAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 22, 2005) - Three thousand - two hundred soldiers from across Ontario have assembled at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa to practise the skills required for modern operations. Called STALWART GUARDIAN, the exercise began on Saturday, August 20 and runs to Sunday, August 28 involving all 43 of the Reserve units of Land Force Central Area (LFCA), the Army command in Ontario. Air, Communication and Field Ambulance reservists are also deployed to support the exercise, along with soldiers from the United States, Great Britain and Germany.

"Two hundred of the reservists on this exercise will be in Afghanistan next summer," says Brig.-Gen. Gary O'Brien, Deputy Commander of LFCA. "The lessons they learn here give them a foundation for deploying with a large multi-national task force."

This exercise is the last in a series of three STALWART GUARDIANs that began in 2003, all part of the same scenario. In the first year, reservists deployed as part of a NATO force helping to protect "Blueland" from aggressive, neighbouring "Orangeland." The aggressive dictatorship attacked and immediately encountered Canadian defences. In 2004 the Canadians, as part of a multi-national coalition, regained the initiative on the battlefield in a transition phase that kept the invaders off balance. This year completes the series with an attack phase that is aimed at pushing Orangeland forces back over the border. It is a realistic scenario that reflects events overseas in the recent past.

This year's exercise will see reservists encounter terrorist and insurgent troops sponsored by the retreating Orangeland Forces, much like the situation our troops face in Afghanistan. This training also readies the soldiers for the next series of exercises. In 2006, VIGILANT GUARDIAN will be based on "full spectrum operations" encompassing war-fighting, peace support and humanitarian relief operations. All three may be encountered at the same time on contemporary deployments and units need to be ready to accomplish these missions simultaneously.

Note to Editors

Media are invited to cover all or part of this exercise. Visits to the training area are encouraged, or telephone interviews can be arranged with soldiers deployed to the field (including soldiers from your area). For further information, visit our website at www.exstalwartguardian.forces.gc.ca.

You can contact the Exercise Stalwart Guardian Media Centre by phone at (613) 687-5511 Ext 3633 or by e-mail at Peterson.A@forces.gc.ca

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