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'This is what we train for, and we're ready to help in any way': Canadian soldier
LONDON, ONT. -- It’s called Project Laser, the latest mission for the Canadian Armed Force’s national response team in support of the fight against COVID-19.
Lt.-Col. Allan Finney says, “This is the first time in Canadian history that this amount of soldiers have been deployed within Canada on such an operation."
More than 200 soldiers from Southwestern Ontario are being deployed to assist the government during this pandemic.
That includes the High Readiness Force with the First Hussars, headquartered in London, who spent the Monday morning preparing their trucks to head to CFB Borden.
Once there, they will wait for a request for assistance from the government.
According to Lieut. Liam Lees, 4th Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment, that could be anything.
“This is what we train for, and we’re ready to help in any way possible...from providing food supplies, movement of people around, support at the hospitals, casualty clearances and so on.”
The last similar mission the brigade was a part of was assisting the community during the Ottawa floods.
“It’s kind of a different threat than we are used to. We train for mostly combat and domestic operations. The domestic operations tend to be natural disaster relief,” says Lees, a lead soldier that will be heading the mission.
“Obviously it’s a little bit concerning at times when it's an invisible threat and it’s spreading so rapidly. But there is also a lot of excitement with our soldiers as well. They are happy and proud that they get an opportunity to use their training and help serve their fellow Canadians.”
Once the soldiers arrive at CFB Borden, they will be positioned to support and react as needs arise provincially, federally and within municipalities.