Members of the King’s Own Calgary Regiment took part in a combat simulation exercise on Sunday morning without facing the elements on the crisp January day.

“This weekend we’re conducting exercise virtual scout which is a computer assisted combat simulation exercise,” explained Major Christopher Hunt. “We practice and build those skills in the nice, warm environment of the armory so that people learn those skills, have a chance to get familiar and skilled in them, prior to going out into the field.”

The soldiers are provided with an opportunity to develop vital combat operations skills without the distractions of the bitter cold, vehicle noise, or precipitation that they may face in the future.

The planning simulations place an emphasis on communication for the reserve members practicing commanding control.

“The way you know what’s going on, on the battlefield, is by sharing information with the rest of your team,” explained Major Hunt. “It’s critical to not only know where the enemy is but where other friendly forces are, where things are developing, and then using that information to develop a plan of action.”

Major Hunt adds, despite the esthetics, the part-time soldiers are not simply playing a video game.

“The amount of time we spend talking about what we’re learning throughout this process it’s all designed to get us ready for real operations as opposed to entertainment.”

The King’s Own Calgary Regiment wants more Calgarians to join the reserve unit and Major Hunt says current members come from all walks of life.

“They’re students, they’re teachers, they’re business people, they’re engineers, and they’re your neighbours.”

For more information, visit the King’s Own Calgary Regiment.