CANADIAN MANOEUVRE TRAINING CENTER CAMP WAINWRIGHT, Alberta --
Marines with Supporting Arms Liaison Team (SALT) C, 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, integrated with Soldiers from the 5th Canadian Mechanized Battle Group (5 CMBG) could be seen frantically passing information for close air support missions being received from joint fires observers aboard Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre, Camp Wainwright, Alberta, during Exercise Maple Resolve 2015 beginning May 2, 2015.
During this exercise, the SALT is providing fire support coordination, communications and fire support planning capabilities to their supported units within 5 CMBG. The SALT consists of a headquarters and two teams of five Marines called Firepower Control Teams or FCTs.
The FCT is the smallest element within 1st ANGLICO and its primary function is to call for and adjust naval and artillery fire, as well as provide close air support to the frontlines using communications equipment.
For Exercise Maple Resolve 2015 the Marines were communicating with various aircraft from the Royal Canadian Air Force to provide essential support for units on the ground.
“This type of training is important because we get the opportunity to work with coalition forces that we may work with in real-life scenarios,” said Cpl. William Thornton, a forward observer with 1st ANGLICO. “It allows us to see what their capabilities are and, in turn, they can see our capabilities, which allows us to figure out how to work together to be able to complete the mission at hand.”
The Marines with SALT C effectively communicated with their FCTs on the frontlines and in turn relayed vital information to 5 CMBG and 1st Canadian Army Division while providing effective fire support during key missions of the exercise.
“The training opportunity is enormous and we don’t often understand, sometimes, what the real value of training like this is, and its relationships,” said Lt. Col. Brian Russell, 1st ANGLICO’s commanding officer. “So knowing that we have a pre-existing relationship with our Canadian allies is a combat multiplier and allows us to get right to work once we show up in theater.”
The exercise, scheduled to end May 15, will continue to evaluate 1st ANGLICO’s abilities and build a stronger working relationship with Canadian forces.