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Joint Excercise

A real emergency is the wrong time to be hammering out communication protocols, misunderstanding procedures, squabbling over jurisdictions, and ignoring available resources and skillsets. After all, if you are out there on a sinking or burning boat (or both), those minutes spent dithering are very important to you! This is why joint exercises are so very useful. We encounter problems in an operational environment without having lives in peril and property in real danger, and sort them out ahead of time.

There is an old military maxim: ‘Train hard, fight easy’ – it’s not quite applicable to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, but we get the point. The Navy has long understood this point.

In early April, 2018, the Toronto Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (that’s us) and our colleagues from Pickering CCGA went to HMCS York, the Canadian Naval Reserve unit on Toronto’s lakeshore, and went through a major rehearsal for a major incident in Toronto Harbour.

Train hard, fight easy? It wasn’t a pleasant day for a start – this was early April and it was snowing out on the lake. Still, all participants earned valuable lessons, gained useful insights, and improved our ability to coordinate in case something really nasty happens out there. We look forward to going through more exercises again. The more we practice, the easier it will be on the day all our skills are really put to use.

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