The federal government’s 2017 defence policy proposed to increase the Regular Force by 3,500 to 71,500 and the primary Reserve Force by 1,500 to 30,000, and to expand the roles and responsibilities of the Reserves to include combat capabilities such as direct fire, mortar and pioneer platoons.
When you’re the individual training authority for the Canadian Army, numbers like that can send sizeable ripples reverberating across the training system. Colonel John Errington, commander of the Combat Training Centre (CTC) in Gagetown, New Brunswick did the logical thing. He called a meeting.
“I brought all the different schools together for a strategic planning session to make sure we were looking at all the options,” he said. “If we’re recruiting more people to grow the force, it is one thing to get them in the door. But if they don’t get trained, they don’t get to the field force.”
The Combat Training Centre has a mandate to develop and deliver individual soldier training and preserve critical qualification standards across eight schools and centres of excellence in New Brunswick and Ontario, including the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps School, the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School, the Infantry School, the Tactics School, the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics, the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers School, the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering, and the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre.