COLD LAKE – Don’t be alarmed if there are soldiers dressed in tactical combat gear in Cold Lake, Ardmore, and Bonnyville this week.
The Canadian Army Joint Terminal Attack Controllers are being hosted at 4 Wing Cold Lake until May 7 as part of Exercise MAPLE STRIKE.
This means soldiers will be present within the City of Cold Lake, Town of Bonnyville, and Hamlet of Ardmore during that time. They will be unarmed and don’t have ammunition, and will be communicating with 4 Wing aircraft flying over the area conducting valuable Close Air Support training.
Further training will take place within the air force base in Cold Lake and on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (CLAWR) including night flying operations involving CF-18 aircraft. Residents can expect to see and hear aircraft during this time.
Strict COVID-19 protocols will be maintained by military personnel participating, stated 4 Wing in a press release, in this exercise to ensure the health and safety of the community. Members of the public are asked not to interact with the soldiers in respect of COVID-19 protocols and not to interfere with training scenarios.
In a press release, 4 Wing stressed they’re always mindful of the Lakeland community and "this type of training isn’t intended to disrupt your valuable peace and quiet. This exercise is important to aid in preparing soldiers for combat operations in dynamic built-up areas overseas. The ability to conduct night missions is vital to 4 Wing and the Joint Terminal Attack Controller’s operational capabilities."