Day 7 – Under fire

March 19, 2012

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Waking up in a Forward Operating Base is distinctly different than waking up in the field. There’s always a hum and a buzz, people moving – a world outside your tent. Today is rehearsal for the troops – the officers take time to clarify and detail attack and movement plans, the soldiers learn their roles […]

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Day 6 – The curse of FOB Maiden II

March 14, 2012

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FOB Maiden II is cursed. I’m not a terribly superstitious person, but something strange always happens either driving to or from FOB Maiden II. The day starts off with a smooth ride,but at that time we didn’t know we’d be making our way to the Maiden; under the belief we’d be pitching our tents at […]

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Day 5 – Hearts and minds

March 13, 2012

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“Reveille, reveille, reveille!” sings Master Corporal Alex Swaan from the fart sack beside me. Even though I’ve never used it for farting, that’s what the troops call a sleeping bag out in the field. It’s 0400, time to get up and go for the final push to Gameti. We’re given exactly five minutes to eat […]

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Day 4 – Relief, in place

March 12, 2012

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It’s weird waking up and not striking down a tent. Master Corporal Lee Mistelbacher, our section leader, left early this morning for the 15 minute ride north to Gameti; to see where and how the relief in place (RIP) would work. “We replace [the PPCLI soldiers] one section at a time,” explained MCpl Alex Swaan. […]

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Day 3 – Baby Monkey

March 11, 2012

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There’s so much snow everywhere. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever find snowfall beautiful. But during the night, the sky placed a thin layer of snow over our tents and kit. We leave our rucksacks outside, with our parkas overtop – keeping our coats inside the warm tent creates moisture on the jacket which freezes […]

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From rockstar to private: profile on Pte Brandon Nadeau

March 10, 2012

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Even with all his uniform winter kit on, telling Private (Pte) Brandon Nadeau apart from other soldiers in the Arctic Response Company Group (ARCG) is easy – there’s a gaping hole where his front tooth should be. “I was charging through the bush while on exercise last weekend,” Pte Nadeau, The North Saskatchewan Regiment, tells […]

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Day 2 – Two platoon, two section

March 10, 2012

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Sometimes four hours of sleep feels like winning the lottery. I wake up and eat my first rations meal of this trip. Individual Meal Packs (IMPs) are the staple in the field, and while I’ve had them before – this time my beans and sausage breakfast is hot and far tastier. The tent has two […]

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