Training included rock and concrete drilling using hydraulic and gas-powered drills, chainsaw training, heavy equipment operation, non-explosive demolition with expanding grout, and explosive demolition in rock, concrete, and timber. (Submitted photos)

44 Engineer Squadron wraps up training exercise near Trail

Squadrons from across the Kootenays and Lower Mainland attended

Soldiers of the local 44 Engineer Squadron conducted a four-day training exercise in the Trail area from Oct. 19-24 involving more than 50 participants.

Over the course of the exercise, Squadron members from across the Kootenays practiced a number of key military engineering skills. They were joined by other Canadian Army Reservists from the Lower Mainland who are part of their parent unit, 39 Combat Engineer Regiment.

Training included rock and concrete drilling using hydraulic and gas-powered drills, chainsaw training, heavy equipment operation, non-explosive demolition with expanding grout, and explosive demolition in rock, concrete, and timber.

The exercise concluded with a navigation course as well as day and night live fire weapons training at the Casino Range south of Trail. Some of the exercise participants joined the Army Reserve as recently as this past spring and completed basic training over the summer. These newer members found the exercise very rewarding.

The Squadron Commander, Major Nils French of Rossland, reported that the training was extremely worthwhile and noted that a number of the skills exercised over the weekend would be particularly useful for disaster response here in the region.

He commented that “the ability to work effectively with rock and timber is important in a mountainous, heavily forested area like the Kootenays.”

Soldiers also found it rewarding to put their Specialist Equipment Vehicles (SEVs) to work. The SEVs are 5-ton off-road trucks configured to carry nine personnel as well as an array of pumps, generators, power tools, first aid equipment, and supplies. The trucks are equipped with a heavy winch, an auger, and a full hydraulic tool system.

“The vehicle and its equipment allows a team of engineers to go almost anywhere, operate in a wide range of conditions, and conduct a broad array of different tasks,” said Warrant Officer Troy VanTassell, a 20-year Canadian Army veteran currently serving with the squadron.

Area residents may have heard some of the explosions from the blasting on Saturday, October 19.

“There was a dense cloud ceiling at an elevation that reflected sound back into nearby areas, Warfield in particular. The Squadron generally conducts explosives training no more than once a year, and it is only a couple times per decade that it coincides with a low, dense, cloud ceiling,” Major French noted.

44 Engineer Squadron has armouries in Trail and Cranbrook . They are currently accepting applications for part-time positions with guaranteed full-time summer employment for the first four years. More information is available at www.forces.ca or by calling the Squadron directly at 250-368-2129.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Preserve your past at the Trail library

Digitize old photos, cassette tapes, VCR tapes and more

Two overdose deaths in Nelson over the weekend

Police warn that much of the current drug supply in the city may be dangerous

Investigation ongoing into death of Warfield woman

West Kootenay Traffic Services and BC Coroners Service working on the case

Wanted: Bat sightings in the Kootenays

KCBP asking for reports of dead bats and winter bat sightings in the Kootenays

Missing the Bus: Transit planners trying to fix overcrowding

Part two in a series looking at transit issues in the west Kootenay.

Protesters barricade Premier John Horgan’s home ahead of B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrators from the Extinction Rebellion have blocked the Langford driveway

Victoria, Abbotsford record biggest jumps in rent prices nationwide: report

Toronto and Vancouver had priciest rentals in Canada

VIDEO: Convoy of forest industry supporters on its way to Victoria

Rally at the B.C. legislature begins with participants setting off from Campbell River

Teen snowmobiler found safe after overnight search in Okanagan

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Woman arrested in Cariboo after fuel stolen, police car rammed

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

No dramatic shifts expected as B.C. government tables new budget today

Finance Minister Carole James has promised to stay the course when she tables the budget in the legislature

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Most Read