Saturday, August 29, 2009

Members of Parliament get a slice of Combat Training: Afghanistan

Barry Artiste Op/Ed

Hopefully these faux armchair warriors will open their friggin eyes on what our Military Members are all about before grandstanding in the media about the Canadian Armed Forces role in Afghanistan.

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OTTAWA -- Fifteen MPs ditched their suits for military garb this summer and embedded themselves with the Canadian Forces.

They joined existing training exercises of the navy and army. They were shot at, while others learned to shoot. They patrolled mock Afghan villages and simulated ambushes against suspected "Taliban" hideouts.

"The mock battles (were) so realistic, you just can't imagine -- and it is not a game, it is taken so seriously," Liberal MP Frank Valeriote said.

Valeriote and seven other MPs recently returned from four days at the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre in Wainwright, Alta., where the army has tried to replicate life in Afghanistan and at the Kandahar Airfield.

Afghan-Canadians have even been hired to play local Afghans, police officers and Taliban insurgents.

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