‘Fightin’ 4th Awarded Bronze at The Canadian Patrol Concentration 2016

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Article / December 20, 2016 / Project number: atl-2016-canadian-patrol-concentration

By Lt Kiran D’Souza

The Canadian Patrol Concentration (CPC) is a physically and mentally demanding patrolling competition held at Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre (CMTC) Wainwright, Alberta. 

This year, 4th Artillery Regiment (General Support), RCA (4 Regt (GS)) sent an eight-member team. Led by Master Bombadier Matheson, team members included: second-in-command Bombadier Massinen, Bombadier Tsagouris, Gunner Krall, Gnr Deley, Gunner Vanier-Rafferty, Private Giroux, and Gunner Thoma.

Only one repeat member is allowed to return and cannot be the leader from a previous year. Gnr Thoma was selected as the repeat member. Sergeant Rattie and now Warrant Officer Blakemore served as mentors, advising the CPC team on training, and giving tips based on their knowledge gained from the previous year.

Team training began with a selection night. Potential team members left garrison to conduct a 25-kilometer Recce patrol in the Gagetown training area of the 5 Canadian Division Support Base (CDSB) ammo compound. This was followed by a threshold knowledge test on basic patrolling techniques.

After this gruelling night, 10 members were selected to continue training as members of the 4 Regt (GS) CPC team.

Training took place at both the Regimental and Divisional levels. Regimental training included, ruck marches to build the team’s stamina, advanced theory on patrolling, obstacle crossings, helicopter landing sites, explosive threat hazard awareness and recognition, mass casualty scenarios and intense physical training.

Pte Giroux and Gnr Deley completed the demanding Basic Recce Patrolman Course at the Infantry school and were qualified as recce patrolmen.

The Division conducted two training camps which covered topics including, but not limited to: Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) recce, navigation, first aid, C7 and C9 live pairs fire-and-movement, assault boat drills, rappelling and high-line river crossing.

Teams also conducted two long-range recce patrols, preparing them for what would encounter at the CPC. Team leaders were given leadership training in Halifax.

After months of preparation the team flew to CMTC Wainwright to compete in the competition from November 19 to 21.

Despite patrolling not being the team members primary duty, they successfully negotiated the competition’s various tasks and brought much pride to the Regiment.

The team members were awarded bronze medals with the exception of Pte Giroux.

Pte Giroux had been extracted from the competition due to hypothermia. He had observed two members of the team flip their boat while crossing the Battle River and he immediately jumped into the river to help. His decisiveness allowed his teammates to recover quickly, retrieve their kit, and change into dry clothes. For his actions the Commander of CMTC presented him with a CO’s coin for putting his team’s well-being before his own.

After achieving this standard after only two years of competing in the CPC, 4 Regt (GS) is preparing to select its next team with the goal of attaining a Silver medal.

While a Silver is not guaranteed, what is certain is that the warrior ethos is strong within the Fightin’ 4th. UBIQUE!

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