39 CBG reserve soldiers conduct defensive training during Exercise Cougar Destroyer 2015.

39 CBG reserve soldiers conduct defensive training during Exercise Cougar Destroyer 2015.

Army reserve trains in Chilcotin

More than 500 soldiers from 39 Canadian Brigade Group recently engaged in exercises at the Chilcotin Training Area near Williams Lake.

  • Aug. 27, 2015 7:00 p.m.

More than 500 soldiers from 39 Canadian Brigade Group recently engaged in exercises at the Chilcotin Training Area near Williams Lake.

Exercise Cougar Destroyer is the reserve brigade’s annual training event where soldiers from throughout British Columbia come together to sharpen their war-fighting skills, reports Capt. Chris Poulton.

This year a 50-member contingent from the 42nd Military Police Brigade in Washington State, U.S. also joined the reserve training.

The seven day exercise, from Aug. 15 to 23 focused on training combat effective, professional, and adaptive reserve soldiers in order to maintain a high readiness approach in response to domestic and international operations.

“Exercise Cougar Destroyer is extremely important to the overall readiness of our reserve soldiers,” said brigade group commander Col. David Awalt.

“They learn to integrate their skills practiced through the training year in one large scale scenario.

“This year, our troops have the added benefit of working in close coordination with our American counterparts and soldiers from both nations will gain valuable interoperability experience.”

The training is physical, demanding, and challenges the soldiers with fighting patrol skills, defensive operations, and interoperability among Canadian and American procedures.

39 CBG is the largest army reserve formation in B.C. with over 1,500 part-time soldiers serving throughout province.

Exercise Cougar Destroyer is 39 Canadian Brigade Group’s annual training event where soldiers train in war-fighting skills to maintain a high readiness posture in order to respond to domestic and international operations when called upon.

Training with U.S. forces allows both Canadian and American soldiers to learn more about how each nation’s military operates in a combined war-fighting environment.

Raising awareness of the Army in B.C. is an important element of Exercise Cougar Destroyer.

Inviting First Nation leaders and community leaders from Williams Lake to observe the training allows them to learn more about the Army Reserve and what the soldiers do on part-time basis.