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    ARes leadership receiving orders, including OC V Coy (front row, third from right). (Submitted photos)

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    2 Platoon, V Coy maintains overwatch after defeating the enemy. (Submitted photo)

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    PWs being handled on the final objective. (Submitted photo)

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    Members of V Coy led by a Para Coy augmentee. (Submitted photo)



Para Company, 3 RCR – First Choice for Operations

By Lieutenant Robert Blair

Posted on Thursday September 26, 2019

0500, H-Hour. The soldiers of Victory Company (V Coy – 32 CBG) are being ferried across the water to close with and destroy their enemy. Tension fills the air with the anticipation of engaging in light infantry shock combat. V Coy’s mission is being supported by the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (3 RCR) and various brigade enablers. Direct Fire Support Platoon and Mortar Platoon are smashing the enemy’s beach defences from afar while the Assault Pioneers facilitate the assault water crossing. Once the soldiers of V Coy make landfall, the enemy on the beach is already on the brink of defeat. Through aggressive fire and movement, the enemy is quickly dislodged and defeated. The beachhead is secured and V Coy’s warriors have tasted their first victory, the first of many.

During Exercise Stalwart Guardian (Ex SG), the personnel belonging to 31, 32, and 33 Canadian Brigade Groups formed the rifle companies of Arrowhead, Victory, and Weasel Companies respectively. They were supported by their counterparts from 3 RCR, with each 3 RCR rifle company providing mentors and augmentees along with supporting the companies with the newly formed Combat Support Platoons. The purpose of this exercise was to provide primary reserve personnel with experience in company level operations. V Coy was supported by members of Para Company (Para Coy), 3 RCR and as we shall see, this resulted in a stellar performance by V Coy.

After the battle at the beachhead, V Coy had the task of securing an intersection further inland. 2 Platoon (C/S 22) was sent to investigate when they came under contact from a section size enemy located on a nearby hill. The platoon commander quickly took the initiative and manoeuvred his platoon to conduct a flanking attack. The enemy was forced on the back foot until their reinforcements arrived. Seeing this, C/S 22 coordinated with the company commander to bring more forces into the fight. The enemy withered under the superior firepower of V Coy and sustained heavy casualties, they quickly realized that they had no hope of victory and fled.

Having had a brief opportunity to reconsolidate its forces, V Coy’s next mission was to conduct a route clearance of the road designated as Route CLUBS. Unknown to V Coy, the enemy had a platoon staged at Route CLUBS to conduct an ambush on Coalition forces.

V Coy’s lead platoon, C/S 21, came under contact and engaged in a full pursuit. Due to quick thinking on the part of the company commander, V Coy conducted a company flanking manoeuvre. C/S 21 formed a firebase, supported by multiple C6 general purpose machine guns, and laid down suppressing fire. The remainder of V Coy swept through the woods to the left of the enemy and destroyed them. Route CLUBS was now secure and friendly forces were free to move on to further objectives.

Despite their many engagements to this point, V Coy’s mission was not yet complete. The enemy was dug in on a piece of key terrain known as Objective VIKINGS. To reach this objective, V Coy was required to conduct a water crossing made possible by the Assault Pioneers. The time after the crossing was 1610, Objective VIKINGS needed to be destroyed by 1800. This left little time to waste. Each soldier was put to the test as they made the hard march to VIKINGS. Luckily for V Coy, Recce elements had already defined the objective and sited a firebase and attack position for the company.

The enemy was utterly unprepared for the artillery barrage and machine gun fire that commenced prior to V Coy’s assault. As the enemy was attempting to gain their bearings, V Coy swept through using well-coordinated fire and movement. The pressure was too much to bear and the enemy was defeated. After Objective VIKINGS was destroyed, the members of V Coy would get some much deserved rest before receiving orders for their final mission.

The operations of V Coy would culminate in a battalion level offensive on the enemy’s stronghold. The rifle companies of 3 RCR were led to their objective by members of Recce Platoon and V Coy would take up the left flank on the attack. The mission was supported by Direct Fire Support Platoon and air assets to achieve an opening strike on the enemy. This set the stage for the final assault. V Coy was initially confronted with a complex wire obstacle, blocking them from their enemy. However, this obstacle was quickly removed by members of 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, which enabled V Coy to quickly carve a swathe of destruction through the enemy.

In the end, the events of Ex SG are just another day in the job for members of V Coy. As they return to their primary occupations, these men and women will remember what they achieved working alongside their Para Coy counterparts. The lessons learned during Ex SG will be used to hone their skills to an even sharper edge and the members of V Coy and Para Coy look forward to working together again in the future.

The many successes throughout Ex SG are a true testament to the professionalism, expertise, and capacity building techniques and abilities of Para Coy, 3 RCR. The perpetual training for the array of operations in which the Canadian Armed Forces is currently engaged has developed the soldiers of Para Coy, 3 RCR into a discernible expeditionary force. Not only are they skilled experts in combat operations, they have also proven themselves to be highly capable of executing capacity building operations and operating within a coalition context. Para Coy, 3 RCR truly is a first choice for operations.