More than 5,000 British soldiers are stirring up a storm in the Prairies during their live-fire training event.
The 32-day program, which takes place on the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) in Suffield, Alta., is just one of four sessions held throughout the year by the British Army Training Unit (BATUS).
“We’ve come out here for the culmination of our training,” said Angus Tilney, commanding officer of the King’s Royal Hussars.
“[It] sees us as a battle group, which means lots of elements with tanks and infantry and artillery and engineers and signals and intelligence core and all the other bits that makes it work to train us to move to high readiness as part of NATO’S high-readiness force.”
This crucial Prairie Storm training is broken down into three parts: live ammunition, tactical effects simulation and live enemy exercises. However, there’s only one goal: to be as prepared as possible for fights that may lie ahead by mimicking real-life battles.
“The British army is not training for the fight, so much as any fight,” said Col. Marcus Evans, commander of BATUS. “We need to be ready to go for anything.”
With more than 1,000 vehicles and 1,700 square kilometres of training space, the CFB is the largest single military training rage in the country, and BATUS couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to partner with CFB for the past 46 years.
“The British army is hugely priviliged to be able to train here,” Evans said.
“For a European soldier, this is a really shocking place to be.
“It’s pretty hot, things will rain on them, and that is a replication of what they’ll do when they go on operations.”
Engaging in activities 24 hours a day during their time with BATUS at CFB, all of the soldiers involved in the Prairie Storm exercise are scheduled for deployment later this year with hopes of being better prepared.
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