Training in Tandem: Exercise PHANTOM RAM 17

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Article / February 27, 2017 / Project number: w-ar-17-ex-phantom-ram

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By Captain Brian Kominar, 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group

Edmonton, Alberta - One group will potentially deploy to Latvia as a NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (FP) Battle Group, the other will lead a Brigade into a complex multi-national coalition exercise at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington; different tasks and objectives, but is it possible to prepare for both in a single training environment?

The answer is yes, and it came in the form of Exercise PHANTOM RAM 17 (Ex PR 17).  Ex PR 17 was a dual-purpose computer-assisted exercise (CAX) where approximately 150 members from both the  1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group Headquarters (1 PPCLI BG HQ) and the 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters (1 CMBG HQ) staff mutually trained at 3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton from February 6-10, 2017.  

“Exercise PHANTOM RAM has enabled us to concurrently advance preparations of the 1 PPCLI BG HQ prior to their potential deployment to Latvia, as well as the Brigade staff heading down to the United States for Exercise SPECTRAL RAM,” said Colonel Bill Fletcher, Commander 1 CMBG. “We achieved multiple training objectives and stress-tested processes and functions throughout the week. As a result, both components are now better prepared to face future operational challenges.” 

Fictitiously, both groups deployed as part of a Joint Task Force to Atropia on a United Nations-sanctioned operation to combat the Arianan enemy forces, mimicking real-world environments. The CAX was designed to trial specific functions, processes and systems in an interoperable environment. Specifically, the exercise tested the ability to execute an Operational Planning Process, establish and streamline competencies and routines and develop and deliver orders – all while maintaining an informed defensive posture.

“This exercise enabled us to come together and start laying down the foundation of a team that will work closely together over the next year,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Wade Rutland, Commanding Officer 1 PPCLI. “Refining our own skills and drills is essential prior to integrating with our multi-national partners in a complex NATO environment.”

The exercise culminated in a tactical scenario on the final day, which demonstrated the 1 PPCLI BG HQ and 1 CMBG HQ capabilities to function efficiently while combatting enemy tactics. These same capabilities are crucial to future success, no matter which task, objective or operation they are asked to complete.

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