Soldiers Cup & 2010 Survey Camp

Photos by OCdt Ian McNaught

Soldiers Cup


In the fall of 2009 DCdts LCol Tony O’Keeffe and newly arrived C Div Comd Maj Rob Parent were discussing the need to provide to cadets a challenging “military / army” competition as part of spring Environmental Preparation Training (EPT). What was decided upon was a March and Shoot along with a scored shooting programme based on the Army’s Personal Weapons Tests (PWT) and it was this format that was to mature into the first RMCC Soldier’s CUp Competition.

The first week of May saw cadets engaged in preliminary training which included basic marksmanship and weight load marching. The competition itself represented a 16km march to be completed in 2:30 and ten rounds at a series of targets. The next phase was the PWT 3 and a pairs fire and movement from the 100 metre point. All events took place at the CFB Kingston 600 metre range..

The competition began at 0800 with the first two Sqn teams crossing the “Line of Departure”. Squadrons followed at 15 minute intervals. The march was demanding and those teams who had put time into preparation (and memorizing the route) were rewarded with good times and better shooting scores. Those that did’t prepare had difficulties finding the target and often added a couple of hunderd extra meters (or even kilometres) to their march.

Moving on the teams progressed through PWT 3 and to the fire and movement. For the majority of cadets this basic infantry skill was a new (and with live ammunition) an exciting event. Realism was added through the use of plywood and sand bags so cadets would vary thier fire positions. This is where the experince of our two Guest” Directing Staff came to the fore as PPCLI Captains Rob Barker and Jesse Van Eijk used thier Afghan operational experience to build the range. Teamwork and communication were vital (as well as consistent shooting) s the cadets worked their way towards the “enemy” In the end it was 12 Sqn who was victorious and received the “Soldier’s Cup” from former RMC commandant 3572 Maj Gen (ret’d) Frank Norman (RRMC RMC 1956) but all participants came away excited and with a better idea about training for operations making the overall event as highly successful.

Congraulations to Major Rob Parent for pushing ahead with this March and Shoot competition and for providing the high level of professionalism and leadership that was evident in this event from start to finish. We spoke to many of the competitors and indeed they found it both challenging and useful in the development of their military careers. Strategies are already underway by some cadets to do even better next year!

Many thanks must again go out to Capts Van Eijk and Barker but much of the credit must rightfully be given to OCdt’s Caselton and Tremblay. With minimal supervision they produced a workable plan supported by excellent staff effort. Both Cadet OPIs demonstrated initiative, leadership, and flexibility throughout the planning and execution phases. Another inddividual who has to be singled out is OCdt Stymiest for his outstanding work as range 2IC. Acting in a role normally filled by an experienced SNCO he demonstrated strong organizational and leadership skills and was instrumental in the smooth running of the range.

2010 Survey Camp: “It may be useful after all!”

By: 24576 Mary Jo Aquilina

While the rest of the college enjoys the first days of summer, the Civil Engineering Class of 2011 has been working feverishly in order to produce a detailed map of the RMC peninsula. Our efforts on campus are a microcosm of what the Mapping and Charting Establishment (MCE) does around the world. On Tuesday May 4, the entire Civ-Eng class visited the MCE facilities in Ottawa. The CO, LtCol Gregory, kicked off the day with a profound message: “without a map, ships do not sail, planes do not fly and no one crosses the line of departure.” This set the tone for our day at MCE where we were shown the entire map production process. The class came away with an excellent example of how our struggle with surveying could eventually translate into a skill that will be essential to the CF.

The MCE team is a small, top-notch group of individuals who are able to produce the maps that are used in all of Canada’s overseas and domestic operations, including OP PODIUM, OP HESTIA, and all of the CF operations in Afghanistan. MCE works with the intent to capture detailed features and establish a thorough understanding of an area. The elements that are required for the final map product are data management, terrain analysis, and survey; all of which are familiar to the Civ-Eng class, who have studied these subjects extensively. The tour has set the standard for the Civ-Eng survey camp by providing professional examples of maps that are being used today.

Geotechnitions are the people who conduct the actual surveying and data management for the maps. They are essential to MCE. MWO Lavasseur, the chief instructor of the School of Military Mapping, stressed their importance; he said that “Geotehnicians are the eyes of the commanders before they see the battle space.” The great responsibility of the Geotechs was further emphasized by Cpl Hanbidge, who described their contribution to the map making process. The Geotechs investigate the map sites; they determine the ground conditions and estimate the hazards that could affect personnel working and travelling through the area. In order to observe the physical conditions of a site they use geologic mapping, geophysical methods and photogrammetry – the same methods that are taught at RMC.

WO Richmond is part of the survey section of MCE. He was very enthusiastic about showing the Civ-Eng Class all of the instruments that he uses. These instruments were more advanced than the equipment at RMC. Some of the components on their instruments are automated; whereas, we are forced to do the calibrations manually.

Lt Boyd, a recent graduate of RMC, explained the purpose of the Geospatial On-Line Analytical Processing (also known as GEOLAP), which is key to managing the data that is gathered by the Geotechs. He explained that GEOLAP is similar to Google Maps; however, it is more advanced in that it utilises a catalogue that is capable of displaying the topology of an area, aeronautical imagery, and digital data. Lt Boyd also explained Metadata, which is electronically archived data that provides definition, structure, and administration of the digital image.

After learning about data management the MCE team gave the class a tour of the Digital Production Squadron area, where the physical creation of the map begins. John Healey explained to the group that the Digital Production Squadron is involved in the Multinational Geospatial Co-Production program. The program divides the world into a grid and assigns these grid spaces or “cells” amongst different countries. MCE is responsible for certain parts of Afghanistan, the Caribbean, Uganda, and Sudan. Each employee is given a cell of raw data to analyse and assign attributes to objects and geographical features. The individual cells are woven together, resulting in continuous data of the world. The final step in the map-making process is the Standard Production section, which conducts quality control checks of the final product before it is shipped to the print and press.

One of the most interesting machines that the Civ-Eng class was exposed to was the printing press. It is an impressive machine: it has 37 adjustable controls in order to ensure the correct colours and shades are applied to the map; It is able to make maps of all different sizes and scales; it is capable of producing a remarkable 8 000-10 000 maps/hr. The material that is required for the printing press is extraordinary; according to LtCol Gregory, a 1:50 000 scale map of Afghanistan would require a semi-truck to transport.

The tour of the MCE facilities was truly inspiring. The Civ-Eng class is now able to appreciate the time and attention to detail that goes into the production of just one map. The greatest thing about the trip is that it gives a clear example of how surveying is used to benefit the CF. It is a comforting reminder that our work at RMC has a real-life application. A special thanks goes to Major Vlachopoulos, Captain Arndt, Larry Harvey and Joe Dipietrantonio for organising this educating experience.

Camp d’arpentage 2010 : “Ce pourrait être utile après tout!”

par: 24576 Mary Jo Aquilina

Pendant que le reste de l’escadre profite des premiers jours de l’été, la classe 3ime année de génie civil travaillait ardemment à produire une carte détaillée de la péninsule du CMR. Nos efforts sont minuscules comparé à ce que le service de cartographie fait à travers le monde. Le jeudi 4 mai la classe entière de génie civil est allée visiter les installations du service de cartographie, à Ottawa. L’officier commandant, le LtCol Gregory à commencé la journée avec un profond message : «sans une carte, un bateau ne peut naviguer, un avion ne peut voler ni même traverser la ligne d’envol». Ce discourt a introduit notre visite au service de cartographie où on a visité les installations comprenant le processus complet afin de fabriquer une carte. La classe est repartie avec un excellent exemple de comment nos acharnement avec l’arpentage pouvait se traduire en habilitées essentielles au Forces canadiennes.

L’équipe du service de cartographie est un petit groupe d’individus compétent capables de produire des cartes utilisés dans les opérations outremer et domestiques incluant l’opération PODIUM, HESTIA et les opérations en Afghanistan. Le service travaille avec l’intention de saisir les détails des éléments du terrain afin de transmettre une compréhension générale du secteur. Les éléments requis pour créer un produit comme une carte sont l’analyse de terrain, la gestion de données et l’arpentage qui ont tous et chacun fait parti de notre étude à travers nos cours de géomatique et qui nous sont également familiers. La visite fut un bon exemple qui a inspiré le camp d’arpentage en dévoilant de cartes professionnelles actuellement utilisées.

Les géotechniciens sont les personnes qui font l’arpentage et la gestion des données pour les cartes, ils sont essentiels au service de cartographie. L’adjudant-maître Levasseur, le chef instructeur de l’École de cartographie militaire a souligné leur importance. Il a dit : «Les géotechniciens sont les yeux des commandants avant qu’ils ne voient le champ de bataille.» Leur grande responsabilité a été renforcée par le Cpl Hanbridge qui décrivait sa contribution au processus de création de carte. Les géotechniciens analyses les sites en déterminant les conditions du sol et en évaluant les obstacles qui pourraient nuire au personnel travaillant ou se déplaçant sur un site en particulier. Pour comprendre les conditions d’un site les géotechniciens utilisent des cartes géologiques, des méthodes géotechniques ainsi que la photogrammétrie. Les mêmes méthodes sont enseignées au CMR.

L’adjudant Richmond fait parti de la section d’arpentage du service de cartographie. Il était vraiment enthousiaste lorsqu’il montrait à la classe les instruments qu’il utilisait. Ils étaient plus avancés que ceux qu’on utilise au CMR. Certains de leurs équipements étaient automatisés contrairement à ici ou nous sommes forcées de travailler manuellement.

Le lieutenant Boyd, un récent gradué du collège, nous a expliqué l’utilité du Processus Analytique Géospaciale en Ligne ou GEOLAP. Ce programme est la clef qui permet au géotechniciens de gérer les donnés amassées. Il expliquait que le GEOLAP était similaire a Google maps seulement le logiciel est plus avancé car il utilise un catalogue capable d’afficher la topographie d’un terrain, une image aérienne ou n’importe quelle donné numérique. Le lieutenant a aussi expliqué les Métadonnées qui sont en fait des informations archivées qui fournissent des définitions, la structure ainsi que l’organisation d’une image digitale.

Après avoir appris sur le la gestion de données l’équipe du service de cartographie nous a fait visité l’escadron de production digitale ou les créations physique des cartes commencent. John Healey a expliqué au groupe que l’escadron de Production digitale était impliqué dans le programme multinational de coproduction geospaciale. Le Programme divise le monde en cellules carrées. Le service de cartographie est actuellement responsable de certaines parties de l’Afghanistan, des Caraïbes de l’Uganda et du Soudan. Chaque employé est attribuer un carré du quadrillage et on lui fournit les données nécessaires pour qu’il les analyses et les attribue aux objets sur le terrain afin de produire une carte. Les cellules sont à la fin jointes ensembles pour former ensemble des parties du globe. L’étape finale de la création de carte consiste en une vérification pour s’assurer que le produit est standard et qu’il ne comporte presque qu’aucune erreur.

Une de machines qui nous a été présenté était la presse à imprimer. L’imprimante a 37 fonction ajustables afin d’assurer que les couleurs soient parfaites. La machine peut imprimer des cartes de toutes les échelles et de toutes les grandeurs. La presse peut imprimer entre 8000 à 10000 cartes à l’heure.

La visite du service de cartographie fut vraiment inspirante. La classe de génie civil est maintenant capable d’apprécier le temps et l’attention au détail que contiens une carte. La plus belle chose a propos du voyage c’est que l’on a pu voir un vrai exemple de pourquoi l’arpentage est utile au Forces canadiennes. C’est rassurant de savoir que notre travail au CMR a une vraie utilité. On voudrait remercier Major Vlachopoulos, Captain Arndt, Larry Harvey and Joe Dipietrantonio pour cette belle expérience.