A computer simulation exercise called Virtual Scout was conducted at the Mewata Armoury Sunday.
The command post exercise, conducted by the King’s Own Calgary Regimen (KOCR), creates realistic battlefield scenarios to help soldiers prepare for upcoming training events. It focuses on “route and zone reconnaissance.”
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“They will practice their basic crew skills in this environment, so they are able to re-find those skills prior to going out into the field later this spring,” Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Hunt, commanding officer of the KOCR, said.
“They will see a virtual replica of what they would see on the battlefield. So they will see other armoured vehicles and explosions. They are able to practice their communication skills and use a radio. Crew commanders will be able to give their gunners gunnery commands prior to getting into the real vehicles and going into the field.”
Captain Brandon Frizzell said it’s also a cost effective training program and gives soldiers the opportunity to practice basic skills in a controlled environment first.
“We can follow our crawl-walk-run mentality and practice the basics here, before going out into the elements and increasing the difficulty,” Captain Frizzell said.
“Taking what these guys are doing here right now, in terms of controlling their vehicles … in a scenario like this, is significantly easier than doing it out in the field when it’s -30 C and it’s snowing and the elements play a huge part in the difficulty of controlling soldiers.”
Cpl Hunt said, “It’s gotten more realistic and I think for anyone that has experience with computer software and computer games, the graphics have gotten better, there’s more complexity, it’s able to model things more accurately, and so that has progressed with the training simulators over time as well.”
The King’s Own Calgary Regiment is a reserve armoured unit that is part of 41 Canadian Brigade Group in 3rd Canadian Division. The Regiment trains armoured fighting vehicle crews of part-time professional soldiers.
There are two armoured reconnaissance squadrons. ‘A’ Squadron is based in Calgary at Mewata Armoury, and ‘B’ Squadron is now recruiting in Foothills communities and is based near Okotoks and High River.