Ex STEELE SKADE 2017 Overview
By: Tpr RIJ King, Recce Sqn
In late February, Recce Sqn organized and ran a Basic Winter Warfare serial to qualify soldiers in the Regiment. With 51 candidates and another 45 support personnel participating in the training, it constituted a sizeable Regimental effort. The theory portion was conducted in unseasonably warm weather that led to a wide variety of packing styles, something that came back to haunt the more conservative packers when winter returned with a vengeance during the practical portion. While cold, the conditions were conducive to effective winter training. In addition to meeting the core requirements of the course, participants were also able to experience a variety of winter activities including preparing austere shelters, conducting ice recces, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. These additional activities exposed soldiers to winter environments and will allow them to more effectively conduct themselves on cold weather operations. The training provided a way for soldiers to learn how to apply their winter kit, an important factor when operating in cold weather environments. Some soldiers preferred to heat their kit through unconventional methods and came back with a singed glove or boot for their troubles.
The cold weather also allowed the soldiers to understand the extra effort required for almost every task, from unfreezing water and putting up tents to pulling toboggans. In addition to the valuable experience gained for all participants, the week allowed participants a chance to bond through adversity. The final evening also presented an opportunity to bond during the Sqn Smoker, while celebrating the promotions of Tpr RC Lang and Tpr KJ Wuerch.