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Highlanders conduct exercises using local terrain

a machine gun crew fires at an enemy position at McCallum Settlement during Exercise TARTAN TEMPEST III
a machine gun crew fires at an enemy position at McCallum Settlement during Exercise TARTAN TEMPEST III

TRURO, N.S. – Parts of Colchester County were buzzing with activity on the weekend as Nova Scotia Highlanders (NSH) hosted the Cape Breton Highlanders (CBH) for a joint training exercise.

Using facilities at Debert and McCallum Settlement, the two Canadian Armed Forces Reserve infantry units conducted Exercise TARTAN TEMPEST III, to confirm members meet requisite Battle Task Standards.

Lieutenant Colonel Colin Todd is the newly minted Commanding Officer of NSH.

“As infantry units, robust and realistic exercises like TARTAN TEMPEST are our bread and butter,” he said. “Last year, CBH hosted us for a similar exercise and this year, we are happy to play host.”

During the three-day exercise, troops tactically deployed to the Debert Rifle Range from armouries in Cape Breton and mainland Nova Scotia on Friday. Using that staging area, they deployed Saturday to the woods of McCallum Settlement to conduct tactical manoeuvres.

“We have some excellent terrain here suitable for testing our capabilities to ensure our operational effectiveness,” Todd said.

A colourfully dressed “enemy force” made up of soldiers from both units made sure the exercising troops were kept busy and that allotted ammunition and pyrotechnics were put to good use. Sunday, the exercise culminated in two well-coordinated ambushes that put an end to the enemy attacks.

Using facilities at Debert and McCallum Settlement, the two Canadian Armed Forces Reserve infantry units conducted Exercise TARTAN TEMPEST III, to confirm members meet requisite Battle Task Standards.

Lieutenant Colonel Colin Todd is the newly minted Commanding Officer of NSH.

“As infantry units, robust and realistic exercises like TARTAN TEMPEST are our bread and butter,” he said. “Last year, CBH hosted us for a similar exercise and this year, we are happy to play host.”

During the three-day exercise, troops tactically deployed to the Debert Rifle Range from armouries in Cape Breton and mainland Nova Scotia on Friday. Using that staging area, they deployed Saturday to the woods of McCallum Settlement to conduct tactical manoeuvres.

“We have some excellent terrain here suitable for testing our capabilities to ensure our operational effectiveness,” Todd said.

A colourfully dressed “enemy force” made up of soldiers from both units made sure the exercising troops were kept busy and that allotted ammunition and pyrotechnics were put to good use. Sunday, the exercise culminated in two well-coordinated ambushes that put an end to the enemy attacks.

Prior to heading to McCallum Settlement, troops rehearse tactical drills at the Debert Rifle Range.

Despite the rugged terrain, punishing tempo, little sleep and the steady snowfall on Sunday, morale among participants was high, especially with the two units sharing a rich history.

Master Corporal Leim Joe of CBH joined the exercise a day after successfully completing his gruelling sergeant’s qualification course. He welcomed the opportunity to put his new skills to the test.

“I’ll be working with troops from NSH in summer and during bigger exercises like STRIDENT TRACER next year,” he said, “so this was also a great bonding opportunity, for sure.”

At the post-exercise lunch at the Truro Armoury on Sunday, Lieutenant Colonel Russell Gallant, Commanding Officer of CBH, thanked NSH for organizing a successful exercise “with lots of moving parts” issuing an invitation to TARTAN TEMPEST IV in Sydney next year.

 “It was great re-connecting with my friends from CBH with whom I did my Army occupational training,” Corporal Jacob Stonehouse of NSH said of the weekend. “I will be on TARTAN TEMPEST IV in Sydney.”

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