Members of the Canadian Armed Forces were in the public eye between Peterborough and Port Hope this weekend.
Troops and armoured vehicles were visible along County Road 28 this Saturday as members of the Regiment were conducting a 72-hour training session.
“We’re conducting drills for future military exercises and practising our manoeuvers,” said Master Cpl. Mark Vanderbruggen. “It’s important that we keep up with the training as we are constantly training for the next possible mission, to deploy wherever the government sends us.”
There are more than 150 troops taking part in the weekend-long exercise, which includes a mix of new recruits and veterans of the Armed Forces, some who have experience fighting overseas.
It’s important training for all the troops involved but it’s also a valuable opportunity to spend time amongst the community.
“It lets us get on roads we normally don’t go on and see terrain we aren’t used to seeing and practise a skill,” Vanderbruggen said. “If we just used the base all the time, it could get repetitive.”
Peterborough native Cpl. Shawn Finnegan is with the Ontario Regiment and is essentially training in his own backyard. He says it’s nice to be so close to home.
“It is very close and really interesting to be training in the area that I grew up around and know so well,” he said. “Everybody that we have met today has been very welcoming and open and very positive and thankful for what we do.”
The 72-hour training session began Friday night in Port Hope and on Saturday morning, troops were making their way down County Road 28 towards Peterborough, some representing the Queen’s York Rangers and others from the Governor General’s Horse Guard.
It’s great that we get the chance to get off the base and interact with the local community,” said Vanderbruggen. “People come out and see what we’re doing and ask us questions and we love doing it — we love interacting with the community and getting the support that we get.”