Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Soldiers...with guns...in our cities!

No, I did not make this up! After all, I'm not allowed to. And neither is the Toronto Star's Political Blog, which is reporting on an exercise Ottawa Army reserve units will be conducting in the suburbs of the nation's capital Saturday.

The Star posted an e-mail from an Ottawa city councilor advising his constituents on the urban patrolling exercise that soldiers will be conducting...in their city...with guns:

I am writing to give you advance notice that Army Reserve Force units from the Ottawa area will be conducting joint urban warfare training in the Hunt Club Road area this Saturday.

A training exercise involving 50-75 soldiers is taking place in the surrounding woodlands and boarded houses at 1008 to 1016 Hunt Club Road on Saturday, May 13, 2006 between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Urban patrolling will be conducted in the area surrounding the property, specifically the residential area to the North, the commercial area (South Keys Mall) to the East, and the industrial area to the South-West around Uplands.

I am advised that pyrotechnics will not be used but the exercise will involve firing blank ammunition. The urban patrolling will occur during the morning hours between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

After 12:00 p.m., the urban patrols will be ordered to converge on the buildings and set up the outer/inner cordon and then assault (if necessary) the buildings and conduct a search. This cordon and search will be repeated on each house at least 4 times in order for military personnel to become more proficient in their drills and to increase their understanding of their Rules of Engagement.

This training also exposes soldiers to the reality of conducting operations in an urban environment - the kind they may encounter if they participate on missions outside Canada. The skills they develop and perfect will help ensure their safety and success in future operations.

* For the record I have no problem with this exercise. Urban training is important given the kinds of missions and environments our soldiers are and will be facing in the future. And I'm not allowed to make that up.

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1 comment:

Saskboy said...

Operation Charging Bison was run in Winnipeg last week, and might be ongoing. See http://lifeofbrex.blogspot.com for more info on one of the protests there.