Armed Forces simulations conducted in Kandahar and Wynyard, Saskatchewan
October 14 and 15, 2006
The 15th of October, 2006 Wynyard, Saskatchewan
Units of the 38th Canadian Brigade Group, including The Saskatchewan Dragoons, The Fort Garry Horse, The Royal Regina Rifles and 16 (Saskatchewan) Service Battalion took part in a military training exercise in and around the Town of Wynyard and Hamele of Kandahar Saskatchewan. The maneuver was called ‘Exercise WAGONS WEST’ and was generally to be conducted in and around the Rural Municipality of Big Quill in the Saskatchewan prairies. This training was designed to reflect the many tasks an armoured reconnaissance squadron would conduct in theatres of operations like Afghanistan. Exercise WAGONS WEST included convoy escorts, vehicle checkpoints, presence patrols, and cordon and search operations.
Text: DND with photos by Cpl. Bill Gomm
This article came from the local newspaper the ‘Wynard Advance Gazette”
Date: October 23rd 2006
Most of us in Saskatchewan have little or no idea about living in a military environment. Wynyard, Kandahar and area residents got an inkling of what life might be like now had our soldiers not gone to fight for our freedom.
The town saw over 100 soldiers and their commanding officers, travelling in army trucks and patrolling the streets many with gun in hand.
The Canadian Armed Forces soldiers were here to learn. Many scenarios were created in which soldiers had to think and react quickly, throughout the town of Wynyard, the hamlet of Kandahar and regions south and north of these areas.
Their mornings began at 5:30 where they were greeted with a hearty breakfast and then given their orders for the day’s events.
From that moment, soldiers were expected to work together, to create a plan of attack, and carry it out. They were required to organize the troops to take out the enemy soldiers with no or few casualties.
Many locals were used in the scenarios. Some actors were given specific instructions on what role they would play, while others performed in a large crowd.
Audrey Johannesson of Wynyard played a wounded civilian who had a bullet enter her arm from the back and exit from the front. “It was awesome, a good experience with civilians because they had to think before they reacted.”
Paula Tover was very pleased with the events that weekend. It was a real learning experience for us to watch and for the soldiers. They have to be so cautious and meticulous when they are assessing a situation.
Sergeant Thibeault with the Wynyard RCMP detachment commented on the people’s willingness to accept ‘ Wagon West’ into the area. “The soldiers and officers were very happy to be in Wynyard. People received them very well. I was happy to see that so many people volunteered. Those who participated did an excellent job. They (soldiers and officers) were very happy with the turnout. There were no problems, no negativity. Everyone was 110 percent with it. The soldiers and officers were happy to receive the hats from Kandahar and the gift from the Town of Wynyard. ”
Sergeant Thibeault also commented that the group would like to try to return to this area again next year, for similar army training.