Sparks flew when U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers, participating in a multinational Exercise Maple Resolve 19-01, partnered with Canadian Army technicians in an in-house, friendly engineering competition at the 3rd Canadian Division Support Base Detachment (3 CDSB) Wainwright, Alberta, Canada, May 9, 2019.
U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Josh Strayer, a mechanic with the 180th Transportation Company in Muskegon, Michigan, competed on one of the multinational teams.
“It’s a pretty unique opportunity honestly,” said Strayer. “We were here to deliver rolling stock equipment for another unit participating in the exercise, and they’ve invited us to build with them.”
“We are working together, getting creative and thinking outside of the box; the competition is a great motivation booster for our unit,” he said.
The competition was part of the 75th Annual Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers week celebrated by the 3 CDSB Maintenance and Technical Department.
U.S. Soldiers participating in the competition experienced unique training opportunities fostering deeper levels of soldier-to-soldier communication, and increased overall interoperability.
U.S. Army Reserve Pvt. Class Autumn Madrid, a mechanic assigned to the 877th Quartermaster Company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, collaborated with her Canadian teammates to bring the heat to their project, welding for her first time.
“They are very experienced in different areas,” she said. “At home we are doing PMCS (preventative maintenance checks and services), here they are teaching us welding. It’s been great.”
Madrid’s teammate and welding supervisor, Canadian Army Master Corporal Terry Moser, a weapons technician assigned to the 3CDSB maintenance, shared his thoughts on partnering with the U.S. Soldiers.
“Being able to share our knowledge with outside forces, you feel like you’re part of something bigger,” said Moser. “You see the bigger picture, you see what it takes to work with units of other countries, to see how they think and fix things.”
“Environments like this, you can take to the field and all get on the same page, you learn to build together,” said Moser.
U.S. Army Reserve Pfc. Olivia Fleming, a mechanic assigned to the 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Fort Gillem, Georgia, participated in the competition on her first multinational force exercise.
“I learned a lot of things, they may go about a situation differently from what we do in our TM’s (technical manuals) and how we operate, but there maybe other ways to get something done,” she said. “I learned how great it is when two countries come together and work for a common goal you make many friends and you learn things as a person not just a soldier in the army.”
Exercise Maple Resolve is Canada’s annual brigade-level validation exercise for the Canadian Army’s High Readiness Brigade and is designed to develop partnership among forces and increase interoperability.