Canadian air reservists train in Pennsylvania

News Article / June 17, 2016

By Major Angela King-Sweigart

Thirty Canadian Air Force reservists, as well as active duty United States airmen, assisted in renovating a building at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, a National Guard training site, for their two-week training in May 2016.

The team was comprised of vertical engineers from 14 Construction Engineering Squadron, a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) reserve unit headquartered in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, as well as personnel from other units. The Canadians brought a variety of skilled tradespeople with them, including plumbers, HVAC technicians, electricians and construction technicians.

The RCAF reservists came from throughout Canada, said Warrant Officer Blane Reynolds, a from 192 Construction Engineering Flight Aldergrove in British Columbia. “For some of the troops this was their first time out of the country,” he said. “We have troops here from coast to coast.”

The program the Canadians came to train with their American counterparts is called the Deployment for Training Program. These exercises are intended to enhance the readiness of military engineers for both Canada and the U.S., and to improve interaction between U.S. and Canadian forces engineers who operate together in support of deployed operations.

Canadian Armed Forces have been participating in training exercises like these at Fort Indiantown Gap for more than 20 years. The experience has proved beneficial for both Canadian and American troops.

“Everyone has been very welcoming,” said Lieutenant Zaneta Balazova from 192 Flight. “We’ve enjoyed working with our allies and it’s been a very positive experience.”

The Canadians did a great deal of work on two buildings during their time at Fort Indiantown Gap, assisting with running cable, studding out buildings and more. “This has been a productive trip,” said Aviator Erik Kallweit, who is also from 192 Flight.

Their American hosts agreed about the benefit and the amount of work that was accomplished. "The Canadian Forces renovated an antiquated building into a modern 21st century facility for the benefit of service members training at Fort Indiantown Gap. Experiences like these, working with our allies and accomplishing so much are a win-win for Canadian and American forces," said United States Army Lieutenant-Colonel. Daneen Hutton, the director of public works for the installation.

Fort Indiantown Gap, administered by members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, is the busiest National Guard Training center in the U.S., training more than 120,000 service members from all branches and components, as well as allied nations, federal, state and local partners.

Major Angela King-Sweigart is a public affairs officer and a member of the United States Army National Guard at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania.

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