By: Captain Mark Ruban, Op REASSURANCE, Public Affairs Officer

In February 2016, a new contingent of Canadian soldiers landed in Europe as part of the Operation REASSURANCE Land Task Force (LTF). Since then, they have participated in a series of rewarding training activities alongside their partners from Poland and other NATO states.

Members of the new rotation, known as Roto 5, are primarily from 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment (1 R22eR). A parade was held to mark the beginning of their bilateral training with the Polish 25th Air Cavalry Brigade at the airfield of the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Poland, on February 29, 2016.

The Canadian troops are mostly mechanized infanteers, so they do not often have the opportunity to work with soldiers and helicopters from an air cavalry unit. During their training with Polish partners, they learned fast-rope techniques, as well as the principles of air-supported insertions and extractions.

Working with the Polish forces and their helicopters not only enables us to operate together and share our knowledge—it’s also a chance to expand our tactical abilities,” said Captain Mike Cefaloni, a 1 R22eR Platoon Commander assigned to the LTF. “During this exchange, the Poles were impressed with our decentralized planning methods, while we were able to learn from their air-mobile drills.

Interoperability activities also included demonstrations on firing ranges. Urban-combat training provided an opportunity to conduct joint assaults…

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