COBRA Company qualifies Canadians, Spaniards, Italians and other candidates in Latvia

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Article / June 13, 2019 / Project number: 19-0122

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By Lieutenant Jacob Simard, 33 Platoon Commander, COBRA Company

Kadaga, Latvia – COBRA Company of 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment, organized a course “DP2 –Weapons Detachment Member” at Camp Adazi in Latvia to strengthen interoperability between nations contributing to the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia.

This course, given in the operational theatre, allowed 32 candidates from Canada, Spain, Slovakia, Italy, Albania, Poland and Montenegro to be qualified in March 2019.

The course not only allowed Canadian candidates to obtain a qualification necessary for their career progression, it also amplified Battle Group interoperability and encouraged knowledge-sharing between the nations represented. Candidates from other countries had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the C6 machine gun and the C16 grenade launcher.

Given the fact that instructors and candidates from other nations used a second language, communication was a major challenge.

Nevertheless, the efforts and professionalism of the instructors allowed the Allied countries’ candidates to familiarize themselves with these weapon systems and learn how to use them effectively on the battlefield.

In addition, candidates from different countries had the opportunity to discuss their techniques and procedures related to these weapons with instructors, which enhanced interoperability within the multinational Battle Group.

The defensive context of Operation REASSURANCE makes it essential for infantry soldiers to be able to use the C6 tripod-mounted machine gun and C16 grenade launcher effectively. The effective use of these weapon systems in a defensive position facilitates the concentration of force, which is an essential war principle for the success of a defensive operation.

After several days of training, the candidates tested their skills on a shooting range at Camp Ādaži. As a result of the instructors’ dedication, the shooting range was efficient and safe. In addition, the operational context ensured that candidates had the opportunity to use explosive ammunition with the C16 grenade launcher and consequently understand the full potential of this weapon system on the battlefield.

In short, COBRA Company has taken to heart the operational priorities of the Battle Group, namely to be able to defend Latvia and to strengthen interoperability between contributing nations. The course contributed significantly to achieving these objectives, while assisting the professional development of a number of members of COBRA Company.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has members serving on Operation REASSURANCE in Central and Eastern Europe. They are there as part of NATO assurance and deterrence measures. These measures aim to reinforce NATO’s collective defence. It also shows the strength of Allied solidarity.

During this operation, the CAF is conducting training, exercises and some NATO-specific tasks.

The CAF support to NATO helps make Central and Eastern Europe more secure and stable. It also shows that the CAF is a professional force that is ready for any task.

The Canadian Army is participating as part of the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia.

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