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NEWS | Aug. 23, 2012

Canada: Washington Army Guard combat engineers take part in international training exercise

By Pfc. Ryan Scott, U.S. Army 122nd Public Affairs Operations Center

TRAIL, British Columbia - Soldiers from the Washington Army National Guard's 204th Engineer Company recently spent time training with their Canadian Army counterparts as part of the combined training exercise Kootenay Castor 2012.

The two week training exercise consisted of maritime, demolitions, and other tactical operations, as well as a "best sapper" competition.

"This is a great opportunity for the Soldiers," said Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Anderson, a platoon sergeant with the 204th Eng. Co. "They're looking forward to the combined training and are excited to be here."

Both the American and Canadian soldiers were separated from their respective home units and then assigned to combined platoons.

"It's a way of maximizing our capabilities while fostering camaraderie between the two units and the two countries," said Canadian Army Capt. Jason Kalincak, operations officer with the Canadian Army's 39th Combat Engineer Regiment.

The soldiers will be spending the next two weeks learning and sharing the tricks of their trade through in-depth training, friendly competition and a 24-hour field training exercise, something that many in the group are looking forward to.

"We're very good at our way of doing things and when we work just as ourselves, we fall into a routine," said Kalincak. "It gives a different perspective on tackling the same set of problems."