Vital training

Dear Editor:

RE: Canadian Army Reserve personnel reflect on benefits of local training opportunity, Sept. 30.

I wish to commend the Advertiser for the article on local military training on private property, an issue rarely canvassed by Canadian media, but of exceptional value to your soldiers.

At a time when the nation is understandably focused on the defeat of COVID-19 and training dollars are at a premium, to be granted the privilege of using private property to utilise or traverse in training stretches those dollars substantially.

I have had the opportunity to have the public’s assistance in providing everything from parachute and helicopter landing zones to patrol bases and orienteering instruction on private property. Personalities such as hockey commentator Don Cherry have been happy to allow the military the use of their property. As always the soldiers work very hard to ensure their presence leaves little or no trace of their passing.

I strongly encourage the public to consider granting such a privilege to your soldiers if asked. I have never had a complaint, save one land owner who was disappointed that we had chosen not to use her property.

When I told her that in fact that more than a hundred soldiers had been across her land during the previous 48 hours she was shocked not to have noticed, though she understood when I told her the very nature of the training was to improve stealth, camouflage and concealment.

Major (ret’d) James R. Diaz,