MACON, Ga. - An infantry platoon with the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Georgia Army National Guard, recently joined forces with the Canadian 48th Highlanders in a complex training exercise called Operation Stalwart Guardian. The multi-nation, multi-service exercise challenged reserve units to defend Canada from a simulated insurgent threat and culminated in an amphibious assault near Toronto.
"Our infantry platoon was immediately integrated into a Highlander's infantry company," said Capt. John Pridgen, officer in charge of the 48th IBCT Guardsmen in Canada. "Two squads of the platoon were detached to another platoon and replaced with a Canadian squad."
The 48th IBCT 48th Highlanders conducted three missions including an airfield seizure and a deliberate attack to secure key terrain. The final culminating event included an assault on key enemy positions blocking the southern terminus of the Welland Canal and Lake Eerie.
"The best part was when the rifle platoon conducted an amphibious assault with the 48th Highlanders on zodiac boats to clear Objective Stag, which was a peninsula," said Pridgen. "Two Canadian infantry companies assaulted the objective by land while the company our platoon was in waited until conditions were right for the amphibious assault to clear the objective of insurgents."
"Our two units have more things in common other than just our numerical designator," said Maj. Henry Mullins, operations officer of the 48th IBCT. "The Canadian 48th Highlanders are a reserve infantry regiment located in the heart of downtown Toronto where it was founded in 1891."
Much like the Georgia National Guard, the 48th Highlanders links the civilian lives of its Soldiers to communities throughout Canada and serve their citizens during times of disaster. Members of the 48th Highlanders also serve around the world augmenting the regular Canadian forces and mobilized as a unit during World War one and two.
"Being able to send our Guardsmen on a training exercise out of country while gaining insight into how our coalition partners operate is priceless," said Mullins.