Eye-opening experience for RMC Cadets at Exercise Maple Flag
Article by: OCdt Eliza Bruce, 27472 (III), E-veritas correspondent
Most of RMC’s student body has seen Officer Cadets dispersed to the various training centres of the CF to complete phase training/environmental training for the summer months.
For those without mandatory training or who have completed these classification qualifications already prior to graduation are currently serving a wide range of roles across different avenues of related training (OJT). Or something unrelated to their particular military classification yet relevant to the broader scope of CF mission success (OJE).
One such employment for many Air Force Officer Cadets is a posting with Exercise Maple Flag, which is the largest air combat operation conducted by Canada’s Air Force in conjunction with the Army and several European allies, and takes place in 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta.
The taskings of Officer Cadets in such an eye-opening and involved experience differ weekly, and span from day shifts to night shifts, as they conduct vehicle searches, security procedures, and get to carry out the work-loads usually only experienced by other ranking members.
OCdt Noordegraaf, IV, (27385) mentioned that adapting to the change in atmosphere (both the physical climate and the level of military operation) has been challenging and intriguing, and definitely quite the gear shift from his usual academic semester of Computer Engineering.
“On EX Maple Flag we run air combat simulation missions to train pilots from several countries and areas: Canada, the U.S., Singapore, France, and more. Some of the cadets are helping to plan missions and are working the airstrip…the majority are doing Wing Auxiliary Security Force which is mainly ID checks and vehicle searches.”
OCdt Ashworth, IV, (27217), is filling the job of an IT support role, “helping the pilots in their mission planning…but now that the exercise is rolling we’ve been tasked with helping Ops as well—this morning, for example, I was sitting in the command room working on radio.”
Giving RMC cadets such opportunities like this, to interact with current military concerns and processes, while positively representing the college across the country is a dream come true for these cadets.
They are learning first-hand how the Canadian Forces are adapting to technological obstacles or collaborated with other forces.
Coming back from a summer of living through a high profile military exercise should fuel the young minds of RMC’s developing young officers towards the final goal of the institution: to equip critical thinking, adaptive, and responsible military leaders.