DT News interview: LCol Eric Groulx on exercise ATROPIA SCIMITAR

Video / July 29, 2021


(SVH) Exercise ATROPIA SCIMITAR, formerly Exercise FINAL DRIVE is the culmination exercise for students who attend the Army Operations Course at Canadian Forces Base Kingston. The exercise uses computer simulations to mimic real-life battlefield situations to test soldiers skills and knowledge in preparation for deployment at home and abroad. Today, we're joined by Lcol Eric Groulx, the Dean of Reserve Individual Training and Education for the Canadian Army Command and Staff Canadian Armed Forces to tell us more about the exercise. Thanks for joining us, sir. To start, can you describe some of the computer simulation of real-life battle situations conducted during this exercise?

(EG) Yes. So, on the course, the students will be planning a brigade operation and using a full Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in their planning. They will plan operations in defence, offense, urban operations, assault water-crossing and just about everything the Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group could do.

(SVH) What is the overall objective of the exercise and how did these scenarios support it?

(EG) The exercise itself is the final piece of almost year-long training events for our students. The students started the army operations course delivered by the primary Reserve Team of the Canadian Army Command and Staff College back in August of last year. They've learned how to plan for our operations at the brigade level and this very final exercise brings all of that learning together.

(SVH) Did pandemic measures still influence how the exercise was conducted this year?

(EG) They certainly did. When the pandemic first hit our course last March, we had to stop all sorts of regional training events because this course is conducted across the country throughout the year. We have a training group in Edmonton, here in Kingston, in Saint-Jean, Quebec, and in Halifax. And they're normally in those training locations for one weekend out of every month through the year. So, in March, we had the... Last March, we had to shut down the gathering and move everything to complete online experience, which was quite a challenge upfront, but we did not stop and for a little bit of time, I think we were one of the only course operating in the army at that time.

(SVH) Thanks so much for joining us today, sir.

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