Sep 15, 2012 / 10:04 pm
It was like a scene out of Afghanistan Saturday in Summerland, as soldiers manned military vehicles and readied equipment while a helicopter landed nearby.
The arrival of the CH-136 Griffon helicopter at the Dale Meadows Sports Complex was part of Exercise Interior Scout I, the first regimental training exercise of the year for the British Columbia Dragoons.
"It is a great opportunity to interact with the public and train our soldiers for future exercises," says Lt. Jesse La France, Dragoons recruiting officer.
About 40 uniformed reservists were on hand for the training which included mounted and dismounted reconnaissance, as well as insertion and extraction drills involving the take off and landing of helicopters.
Some have served in Afghanistan, while others are more newly qualified.
"They are from all walks of life from Armstrong to Penticton," said Major Tom Wolf, who has done two tours in Afghanistan. "And we are here today to ensure the young lads know what to do and what not to do."
During the day, the public was invited to view vehicles and the helicopter and see the soldiers, as well as crews from 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, based in Edmonton, in action.
One group of boys spent time trying on helmets, learning about the trucks and what the Dragoons had planned for the weekend.
"This is great," said Paula George, the Penticton mother of one of the boys. "Because boys love military vehicles."
Kelowna resident Laura Serwa drove down to support her son Second Lt. Ryan Serwa.
"We think about war, but we never actually get to see what they do," she said. "So I am here to see my son in action."
Following the afternoon exercises, the soldiers would be manning observation posts armed with binoculars during the night, said La France.
The weekend training was slated to end Sunday.
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