Bragging rights on the line at CFB Shilo

10.08.2018 13:52
By: Matthew Higgs

Soldiers take part in Kapyong Summer Challenge

CFB Shilo, MB (CKLQ) - Members of the Second Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry have been competing all week during a training exercise, disguised as a skills competition.

The skills competition, known as the Kapyong Summer Challenge, puts soldiers through different training sessions over a three-day period.

They focused on mounted skills on the first day, dismounted skills the next and then technical vehicle and weapons skills on the last day.

In all, one hundred and sixty-four soldiers took part in the competition, nearly the entire 2 PPCLI.

New Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel Jay MacKeen says he brought back the competition aspect for the training exercises.

"They're all competitive people, so they push each other when there is something at stake," said MacKeen.

MacKeen says the whole exercise lets soldiers figure out their strength and weaknesses.

From there, they can figure out how improve during the course of the year.

MacKeen also pointed out that the time of the training comes at a perfect time, right before the start of high intense training around the base.

"This allows us to figure out exactly what we need to work on when we start," said MacKeen.

On Friday, certain groups were going through Technical Vehicle and Weapons Skills training.

That includes, firing at long range targets, hiding a LAV vehicle, putting together weapons, going through proper radio procedure and helping an injured colleague and bringing him to safety.

"It's a good challenge, and a great learning experience," said one soldier, Cpl. Dallas Hooper. "It makes us do things that we don't usually do in a normal battalion environment."

Unfortunately the skills competition happened to take place during the hottest stretch of the summer.

Lt. Col. MacKeen says there is some good with that, as they need to adjust to their surroundings.

"We need to be prepared for any conditions," said MacKeen. "We learn how to slow things down, consumer more water, do buddy checks and make sure everyone is safe."

At the end of the competition, on Friday, overall winners will be announced.

The winners will get bragging rights for the rest of the year.