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News - All - 30 Apr 2019

News Item 21 of 1793 

Miscellaneous: 30 Apr 2019
31CER AIDING FLOOD VICTIMS

Members of 31 Canadian Brigade Group prepare for deployment from their headquarters in London, Ont., to help out with flood relief in Ottawa.
Credit: Sub-Lt. Andrew McLaughlin , 31 Canadian Brigade Group

On Saturday April 27th, the 31 Combat Engineer Regiment based in Waterloo and St. Thomas, sent thirty-eight reservists to Ottawa, where a state of emergency was declared by the city last week.

WATERLOO — Troops from Waterloo Region are assisting with flood relief efforts in Ottawa.

"We're there to support whatever the main authorities want us to do," said Lt.-Col. Blair Ashford, the regiment's commanding officer. "In particular, we're there to fill sandbags and we're there to evacuate people and do wellness checks."

The soldiers in his regiment, which includes full-time students from post-secondary institutions in the region, have specialized training in heavy equipment and construction.

They are reservists, meaning they attend school full-time or have full-time employment and serve with the Canadian Forces one evening per week and one weekend per month, said Sub-Lt. Andrew McLaughlin, a member of the 31 Canadian Brigade Group headquartered in London, Ont. The 31 CBG, which has units across southwestern Ontario, sent 130 soldiers to Ottawa, including the 38 from Waterloo and St. Thomas.

The soldiers were on their way to London last weekend for training when they were asked if they could deploy to Ottawa. Coincidentally, the training planned for the weekend was about providing domestic support in cases of natural disaster.

Those who were able to take a leave from their full-time studies and employment were deployed from London to Ottawa in a military convoy, said McLaughlin. They are expected to remain in Ottawa for about two weeks.

"To army reservists in particular, serving in a domestic operation like this, where we have the opportunity to support Canadians in the communities where we live and serve, that's the greatest honour that we can have," said McLaughlin. "It's a mission that the young soldiers that are under our command are very much willing to do and happy to do. It means a lot to them; it's a point of pride."

When troops arrived in Ottawa, they set up camp and got to work. They brought with them specialized equipment, including a truck that rapidly fills sandbags. The troops have been providing assistance in a number of areas in the city, including the Lemieux Island Water Purification Plant where they were on Sunday.

Reservists from Cambridge and Kitchener who are members of The Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada were also sent to help.

Laura Booth Waterloo Region Record



KW RECORD/jm
 

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