Written by Corporal Joyal, a Rifleman serving in # 2 Platoon, “A” Company of The Royal Montreal Regiment
Westmount, QC – 30 September 2014: Small unit tactics are at the heart of the Canadian Infantry. Chief among them lies the section attack, birthed by necessity amongst the flames of the First World War – much like The Royal Montreal Regiment (RMR) itself. It was thus fitting that the regiment began training in its centennial year by practicing small unit assaults at CFB Valcartier, during the final weekend of September.
At 1900 hours on 26 September 2014, the RMR assembled its soldiers to deploy north for training. Alpha Company, the Regiment’s operational rifle company, fielded a rifle platoon consisting of 40 troops split into three sections and a weapons detachment for the exercise. While Friday night was comprised chiefly of movement to the training area and the occupation of Forward Operations Base (FOB) CHARLIE, the tempo of the operation steadily increased Saturday morning.
As the sun crept over the horizon the soldiers of the RMR received their mission. The platoon was to engage in section and platoon attacks to penetrate enemy lines in order to sweep objective RABID DOG in order to prevent the enemy forces from being resupplied.
The rest of the morning saw the men and women of the platoon practicing section attacks individually before moving into a platoon attack.
The platoon departed for their mission proper at 13h00. After a march of roughly three kilometers, they made their first contact. Small pockets of enemy infantry resisted the RMR at various points along the platoon’s route, but none managed to halt the unrelenting advance of the Canadian infantry.
As the sun began to dip low in the sky the RMR began to occupy a patrol base. While the weather would prove to be cooperative for the night, the enemy forces would not. Over the course of the night the platoon would experience constant harassment from the enemy as they attempted to penetrate into the hide. Again the enemy would meet with no success, as the soldiers of the RMR diligently repelled every probe.
Sunday morning greeted the soldiers with a true fog of war, reducing visibility to a maximum of 100 metres. Still they pressed on, engaging in a final platoon attack against an enemy force that had occupied ground between the platoon and FOB Charlie. The RMR troops emerged victorious as the sun finally burned through the murky skies, marking the end of the exercise.
All told the first training exercise of the year was a success for The Royal Montreal Regiment, marking the beginning of what will assuredly be one of the Regiment’s best training years to date.