Maine Guardsmen Participate in Strident Tracer 2016 Exercise
August 27, 2016 » by Spc. Jarod Dye
Soldiers assigned to the Maine Army National Guard participated in Strident Tracer, a week long training event in Canada.Soldiers from the the 488th Military Police Company, 185th Engineers Support Company, C/126th Aviation Regiment and 251st Engineer Company (Sapper) each trained in Canada.
CANADIAN FORCES BASE GAGETOWN, CANADA—Soldiers from the Maine Army National Guard traveled to Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick, Canada this month in order to participate in Strident Tracer, the 5th Canadian Division’s annual culminating training exercise.
Exercise events began August 19 and ends August 27, 2016.
Canadian and American soldiers trained together to gain insight on each other's operational strategies as well as strengthen the relationship between their two militaries.
“This AT (annual training) were doing Strident Tracer, we’re building our relationship with the Canadian Military while also helping them with their training grounds,” said Spc. Brad E. Jamison, an engineer with the 185th Engineer Support Company.
The 185th, out of Caribou, Maine trained by conducting construction projects throughout the base.
Their main project consisted of creating a building pad, the site for a future shoot house used to train Canadian soldiers in their tactical skills.
The 185th improved 3 miles of roads around the construction site and demolished unwanted buildings on base.
Jamison hopes the Canadians are impressed with the work of the 185th and will invite his unit back next year.
Days before the 185th started their construction, the 251st Engineer Company (Sapper) used the grounds for urban mobility training.
“The first week we were essentially enhancing those Sapper skills,” said Cpt. Brian McClellan, commander of the Sapper unit. “We were able to spend roughly about three days on the demo range where we utilized a little over 325 blocks of C4, a little over a 1000 feet of det (detonation) cord, we were also able to use Bangalores, claymore mines, and in our breeching operations we had a number of doors in order to do both ballistic explosive and mechanical breeching.”
Soldiers from the 251st Engineer Company (Sapper) out of Norway, Maine trained with Canadian engineers, infantry and medics to improve their engineer skills by breaching buildings, communicating on radios, driving Humvees, constructing electronic explosives and creating concertina wire road obstacles.
Combat engineers specialize in mobility, counter mobility, survivability, and general engineering.
“It’s good [training] because Sappers are really the Swiss army knife of the Army,” said McClellan. “We’re intended to work with everybody, so the more opportunities we can get to work with these units in a training environment the more it sets us up for success in a theater of operation.”