MCE Ottawa and Connaught Ranges Visit
25836 OCdt Jason Martin
On Thursday, 2 May 13, the third year class of RMC Civil Engineers partook in a field trip to Ottawa to visit the Mapping and Charting Establishment as well as be witness to a mapping exercise being conducted at the Connaught Ranges.
The visit to MCE began with welcome brief from the CO, LCol Vanderberg, who gave a brief introduction and history of the unit. Yes unit, MCE operates as its very own unit with a structure not unlike a normal combat arms unit. This unit’s role is to provide the CF with geospatial information and geomatics support. MCE is composed of four squadrons, one of which is the survey school. This is unlike other trades where the school is its own separate unit. MCE offers many courses to NCMs looking to specialize in geomatics. While at MCE, cadets visited the squadron responsible for the management of all the geospatial information with the intention of creating maps. Following this, cadets visited the printing press down in the basement to see how exactly maps are made. The knowledge gained on this visit will allow Cadets to appreciate the applications of their Geomatics course in real world applications as well as all military applications.
The next stop on the field trip was to the Connaught Ranges where the cadets visited a live training exercise where the soldiers there, some Canadian, American, British, New Zealand and Australian, were tasked with creating maps in “austere” conditions. The Officer Cadets were able to sit in on the soldiers’ ground briefings to Maj Le Roy who acted as the “Brigade Commander”. This was a great opportunity to see how the mapping and charting tools and techniques can be used in a life-like situation.
Thanks are given to Maj Le Roy for the planning and execution of this trip as well as all of the personnel at MCE as well as on exercise who were able to impart their knowledge on all of the Officer Cadets.