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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

Canadian Army Conducts Largest Training Exercise Of 2023: Maple Resolve

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The Canadian Army has recently concluded its largest and most complex training exercise of 2023, Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE. The annual event, held in Wainwright from May 8 -22, ensured that soldiers are adequately prepared to deploy in support of Canadians in various capacities, including combat operations.

Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE 2023 saw the participation of 2,200 members of the Canadian Army, including most soldiers from the 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (5 CMBG) based in Valcartier, Quebec. In addition, 300 American soldiers from the U.S. Army, U.S. Reserves, and the U.S. Marine Corps, 150 United Kingdom forces, and 2 Australian personnel joined the exercise. The remaining participants consisted of support personnel and members of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), bringing the total number of participants to 2,700.

The training exercise took place in an immersive environment called the Decisive Action Training Environment, where the Canadian Armed Forces simulated fighting alongside NATO allies against a peer enemy. While the training is not operation-specific, it ensures that Canadian Armed Forces personnel are ready to respond to any operation or deployment in defense of Canada or Canadian interests.

Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE 2023 is a crucial part of the broader ‘spring training’ regimen for the 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. Preceding the exercise, participants also underwent Exercise REFLEXE RAPIDE, a live-fire exercise that serves as lead-up training for MAPLE RESOLVE.

Captain Mark Emmerson, Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre Public Affairs Officer, likened the training to a children’s hockey scrimmage practice, explaining that participants repeated scenarios until they got them right. The exercise focused on a scenario called DATE Europe (Decisive Action Training Environment Europe), which simulated a conflict with Russia, with Latvia as the designated theater of operations.

The comprehensive and complex nature of Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE 2023 provided an opportunity to practice interoperability with international partners. Approximately 450 soldiers from the United States and the United Kingdom participated in the exercise, allowing for familiarity and cooperation between different military systems and protocols.

The involvement of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) was crucial to the success of the exercise. The RCAF provided aircraft, including six CH-146 Griffon helicopters and two CH-147F Chinook helicopters, along with around 300 personnel. The RCAF also facilitated airlift support, transporting personnel and equipment to and from the exercise location across Canada.

Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE plays a vital role in ensuring Canadian Army soldiers are prepared to be mobilized as a brigade to respond to crises alongside Canada’s close allies and partners. It is designed and developed by the Wainwright-based Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre, which aims to validate the readiness of 5 CMBG personnel to fulfill the Canadian Army’s operational commitments.

The exercise also served as a valuable learning experience, identifying operational gaps and areas of improvement. Captain Emmerson highlighted instances where differences in equipment hook-ups and communication protocols between nations were discovered. These discoveries emphasized the need for collaboration and understanding among participating forces to optimize joint operations.

Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE 2023 showcased the Canadian Army’s commitment to maintaining preparedness and enhancing cooperation with international partners. As soldiers return from the training exercise, the lessons learned and experiences gained will undoubtedly contribute to the continued strength and readiness of the Canadian Armed Forces in safeguarding Canada’s interests both at home and abroad.

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