Trail residents can expect to hear some big bangs from firearms on Saturday night, (Nov. 20).
But don’t be alarmed, it’s all part of Trail’s 44 Field Engineer Squadron night time arms training at the Casino Gun Range.
“No there is no zombie attack on Saturday night or a major drug bust,” said Casino Range director, Bill Wenman. “It’s just the army doing their annual night shoot.”
Concerned citizens have reacted to the training in the past, so Wenman wants to give the public advance notice that there will be noise from automatic weapons and flares lighting up the night sky.
“Part of the squadron’s training is to practice shooting at night,” explained Wenman. “They will fire up flares, and as the flares go out, they’ll have to be able to adjust their eyesight … and of course, noise seems louder at the quietest time of the night.”
Wenman says there will be up to 20-30 soldiers going through training, and firing arms as early as nightfall and as late as 3 a.m.
“Eight to 10 can only fire at a time, so you might have three relays which is why it takes longer to go.”
They regret any disturbance, but it is all part of their mandatory military training, says Wenman.
A reserve force of the Canadian Armed Forces, the 44th squadron is based in Trail with a satellite location in Cranbrook and is part of 39 Combat Engineer Regiment.
Soldiers from the unit are trained as combat engineers and engineer officers. Engineers build everything the army needs and ensure it can get everywhere it needs to go. They are the army’s experts on road, bridge, and building construction, fortification, boat operations, and demolition and explosives.
The 44th has served in Trail since it was formed in 1947.