Ex MAPLE GUARDIAN – The Recce Squadron Experience
By 2Lt Connor Readman
While most would quiver at the idea of going onto exercise after completing another one less than a week before, Recce Squadron was eager to accept the challenge and the opportunity. The MAPLE GUARDIAN series of exercises are the capstone training events of the army, and simulate actual operations very closely with the Weapons Effects Simulation System, essentially laser tag for grown-ups. The Squadron was consistently on assignment with normal framework operations at regular intervals intertwined with small and large scale operations. The Exercise as a whole was immense in resources, equipment, and manpower. The Battle Captain, Lt G.R. Elliott, and Squadron Signaller, MCpl C.M. Delisle were in communication with a CP-140 Aurora which carried Recce’s own Sgt L.E. Encinas who acted as an observer/reporter. The Aurora provided the Squadron and the Brigade with valuable information with its “eyes in the sky.” The Brigade’s quick reaction force (QRF), which was supplied by Recce Squadron, also had the opportunity to act as an airmobile QRF when 1st Troop, accompanied by a section from Admin Troop, took to the skies in a CH-47 Chinook helicopter provided by the United States Army National Guard from Montana. For many of the troopers it was their first ride in a helicopter.
The exercise was unfortunately cut short a couple days for the Squadron due to the Manitoba floods and the launch of Op LUSTRE, the CF response. Recce returned to Edmonton on the evening of 11 May and was en route to Portage la Prairie within 24 hours.