Soldiers in Laval will conduct a military exercise this weekend
Hundreds of troops will simulate an enemy attack on Montreal
Hundreds of uniformed soldiers will descend on Laval today until Sunday as they simulate an enemy attack on Montreal.
Some soldiers may be wearing gas masks, and shotgun blasts may be heard. Only blank bullets and fake grenades will be used.
The exercise will involve 600 Canadian Armed Forces personnel of the Montreal Territorial Battalion Group. They will be carrying weapons and equipment and circulating on foot or in vehicles.
"We will have three main defensive positions that will be set up in the east of Laval," said Lt.-Col. David Shane, the commanding officer for the exercise.
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"There's also going to be a lot of soldiers going around doing reconnaissance."
Two of the drill sites are located in the St-Francois area, at a former nursery and the former BASF company space.
The other site is the Poste Duvernay Hydro-Québec station. The commanding station will be located at the 4e Bataillon du Royal 22e Régiment on Carrefour Boulevard.
The sites are open areas not usually frequented by residents, Shane said.
"We're going to try to stay as far away as possible and minimize the impact on the population," he said.
The urban setting will force soldiers to adapt to an environment they may encounter in a real deployment, Shane added.
All simulated incidents were prearranged with municipal authorities including the Laval police.
"Our soldiers are going to be polite, they're going to apply their training and they're going to try and continue on with their missions," Shane said.