Kamloops soldiers will take advantage of a rare opportunity to train with live bullets in Idaho next week.
The local 39Canadian Brigade Group is sending 13 men across the border to take part in a 10-day training mission know as Cougar Salvo.
The exercise is taking place at the Idaho Army National Guard's facilities and it will challenge the soldiers’ skills in armoured reconnaissance, artillery, combat engineering, infantry, health services, signals and logistics.
“The objective of this training is to raise the comfort and skill levels of Canadian soldiers to make them more deployable for places like Afghanistan,” said Capt. Michael Oviatt.
Oviatt added that the men will focus on weapon skills with live bullets which is not something we always get to do.
Of the 13 soldiers going down to train, seven of them have been previously deployed to Afghanistan and Bosnia.
Oviatt said there will be a couple hundred people from B.C. training together.
The 39Canadian Brigade Group, which is the largest army formation in B.C. with around 1,500 members, holds the training event every second year.
This year’s location was chosen due to its accessibility by road and air, challenging terrain and suitable shooting ranges for live ammunition.