• FORT IRWIN, CALIF, USA-Lt. Col. Brett Jenkinson, Senior Light Task Force Trainer (Airborne) at the U.S. Army's National Training Center looks on as Canadian Master Warrant Officer Rowell "Sonny" Pinlac pins Canadian airborne wings on Maj. Paul Lashley, Feb. 28 at Spider Drop Zone.  (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Rebecca Walsh, NTC Operations Group PAO)

    Canadian, US Paratroopers train together, exchange jump wings

    FORT IRWIN, CALIF, USA-Lt. Col. Brett Jenkinson, Senior Light Task Force Trainer (Airborne) at the U.S. Army's National Training Center looks on as Canadian Master Warrant Officer Rowell "Sonny" Pinlac pins Canadian airborne wings on Maj. Paul Lashley...

  • FORT IRWIN, CALIF, USA--A paratrooper on the Operations Group "Tarantula" team prepares to landing during joint US/Canadian airborne operations at the U.S. Army's National Training Center, Feb. 28 (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Rebecca Walsh, NTC Operations Group PAO)

    Canadian, US Paratroopers train together, exchange jump wings

    FORT IRWIN, CALIF, USA--A paratrooper on the Operations Group "Tarantula" team prepares to landing during joint US/Canadian airborne operations at the U.S. Army's National Training Center, Feb. 28 (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Rebecca Walsh, NTC Operations...

FORT IRWIN, CALIF, USA -With nearly 120 jumps under his belt, Canadian paratrooper Master Warrant Officer Rowell "Sonny" Pinlac added one more jump to his resume during joint airborne operations with Ft. Irwin paratroopers, Feb. 28, at the U.S. Army's National Training Center.

For Pinlac, an infantry operational control trainer at the Canadian Maneuver Training Center, near Wainwright, Alberta, the opportunity to parachute out of a C-130 Hercules symbolized not just the relationship that exists between the CMTC and the NTC but also the relationship that exists between the Canadian and U.S. airborne communities.

According to Lt. Col. Brett Jenkinson, the Senior Light Task Force Trainer (Airborne) at the NTC, partnership between the Canadian and U.S. paratroopers dates back to World War II as both forces trained together at Fort Benning, Ga. and England before jumping into Normandy on D-Day.

Now, nearly 67 years later, Pinlac strengthened the partnership between Canadian and U.S. paratroopers as he pinned Canadian jump wings onto the chests of 38 Americans.

Although this wasn't Pinlac's first jump with U.S. soldiers, it was still a memorable experience.
"This is a great opportunity," said the Brampton, Ontario native, "I'm glad I got to be here and to do this."

For the past month Pinlac along with 8 other Canadian CMTC operational control trainers worked alongside combat trainers on the NTC Operations Group "Tarantula" team observing and mentoring soldiers from the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division during their training rotation for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

The experience showed similarities and differences in the way the Canadian Army and U.S. Army prepare units for deployment.

"We have more similarities than differences," said Major Trevor Friesen, an Engineer trainer at the CMTC.

According to Pinlac, in 2006 when the Canadian Army looked into creating a training center they came to the NTC and used it as a blueprint to develop the CMTC.

However, "the Canadian Maneuver Training Center is based more on Afghanistan," said Friesen, "it's less kinetic and more focused on counterinsurgency."

As the partnership between the CMTC and NTC and the Canadian and U.S. Army airborne communities continue to grow, both countries' soldiers cherish the opportunity to come together and work with one another.

"We work well together," Pinlac said, "we're neighbors...friendly neighbors."

Page last updated Wed March 2nd, 2011 at 17:50