It’s that time of year, folks. *sigh*
Time to clean the van again.
Seriously. Guinevere gets a major overhaul inside and out this time of year. She even gets *dusted*. Yeah, baby. I’m talking serious business!
Flag officially starts Sunday and the Men with Guns will be guarding the gates, checking ID and randomly searching vehicles and just let me tell you that you’ve never lived a life of shame until a stonefaced soldier has rummaged through the take out wrappers and Tim Horton cups on your van floor looking for weapons and then given you the look.
Not that it’s happened to me.
I clean up beforehand.
I have *some* pride, you know.
For those of you who don’t know what Maple Flag is, below is part of the official blurb from DND.
Exercise MAPLE FLAG is a six-week international air combat exercise held annually at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta. The exercise, which will be taking place from May 14 to June 23 2006, provides Canadian and allied aircrew with realistic training in a modern simulated air combat environment, and emphasizes air operations involving large package coalition forces.
During the exercise’s three two-week periods, international participants engage in a simulated, 10-day air campaign. Using the vast, unrestricted airspace and more than 640 targets of the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (CLAWR), participants engage in daily missions that involve confronting and dealing with air- and ground-based threats. Exercise participants make use of the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (CLAWR) during MAPLE FLAG. The CLAWR covers 1.17 million hectares (11,600 square km), and is the only tactical bombing range in Canada. Vast, unrestricted airspace with no civilian air traffic and more than 640 targets make it an attractive training area for allied air forces.
More than 5,000 military personnel are expected to participate in Exercise MAPLE FLAG XXXIX.
Maple Flag XXXIX “Blue Air” Allied Forces The following forces are scheduled to participate in this year’s air combat exercise as “Blue Air.” They will deploy to provide conventional ground attack, air superiority, SEAD (suppression of enemy air defence), tactical resupply, reconnaissance, air-to-air refueling, and AWACS (airborne early warning and control):
Canadian Forces, German Air Force, French Air Force, Turkish Air Force, NATO AWACS (airborne early warning and control contingent), Royal Air Force, Royal Netherlands Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force,
Republic of Singapore Air Force, Swedish Air Force, United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps
Maple Flag XXXIX “Red Air” Opposing Forces The following forces are scheduled to participate in this year’s coalition exercise as “Red Air.” They will deploy to provide air and ground threat:
14 CTS (United States Air Force), 64th AGRS (United States Air Force aggressor squadron), 266th Range Squadron (United States Air National Guard), Top Aces
Maple Flag XXXIV Observing Nations The following nations are sending military members who will observe but not participate in the exercise: Brazil, Poland, Greece, Oman, Egypt, Singapore, South Africa