COBRA Company qualifies Canadian, Spanish and Italian soldiers… in Latvia
Lieutenant Jacob Simard, Commander, 1 Platoon, COBRA Company
COBRA Company, 2nd Battalion Royal 22 Regiment, organized a DP2 Weapons Detachment Member course at Camp Adazi, Latvia. The Weapons Det Member course, given in a theatre of operations, enabled 32 candidates from Canada, Spain, Slovakia, Italy, Albania, Poland and Montenegro to qualify.
Not only did the Canadian candidates obtain a qualification they needed for career advancement, but in addition the course enhanced interoperability within the battle group and promoted sharing of knowledge among the nations represented. In particular, the European candidates gained familiarity with the C6 machine gun and the C16 grenade launcher.
Because the instructors and the candidates from other countries were not working in their respective first languages, communication was a considerable challenge. However, thanks to the instructors’ efforts and professionalism, candidates from the allied countries learned how to use these weapon systems effectively on the battlefield. In addition, all the candidates had opportunities to share their techniques and procedures for the weapons with the instructors, which strengthened interoperability within the multinational brigade group.
Due to the defensive context of Operation REASSURANCE, it is crucial that infantry soldiers be adept at using a tripod-mounted C6 machine gun and a C16. Effective use of these weapon systems in a defensive position facilitates force concentration, which is an essential principle of war in the success of a defensive operation.
After days of training, the candidates finally got the chance to put their skills to the test on a firing range at Camp Adazi. Thanks to the instructors’ dedication, the firing practice was conducted smoothly and safely. In addition, the operational context meant that the candidates acquired experience in using explosive ordnance (HE) with the C16 grenade launcher and thus were able to appreciate the full potential of this weapon system in battle.
In short, COBRA Company served the battle group’s operational priorities: to be fit to defend Latvia, and to improve interoperability among the contributing nations. The DP2 Weapons Det Member course contributed significantly toward achieving those objectives, while providing professional development for many members of the company.