Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

January 13, 2017 10:59 ET

Canadian and French cavalry roving the Saguenay and Charlevoix regions

VALCARTIER, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Jan. 13, 2017) - Some 40 members of 12e Régiment blindé du Canada (12 RBC), based in Valcartier, north of Quebec City, are conducting a training exercise that will take them from the provincial capital (Quebec), to the Mauricie and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean regions by January 21. About 60 of their French counterparts will join them as part of an exchange program between small units. The program between 12 RBC and the French Army's 4e régiment de chasseurs (4 RCh), based in Gap, Hautes-Alpes, has been in place for four years. The purpose of this exchange is to promote networking, to enable members of these two armoured units to share their knowledge and know-how related to winter warfare.

Quick facts

Transit and camp locations

  • January 12 and 13: Domaine du lac Édouard, 340 Principale Street, Lac-Édouard
  • January 13 and 14: Auberge Éva, 160 Chemin de la Montagne, Lac-Bouchette
  • January 14 to 18: Saguenay Armoury, 2578 Chemin de la Réserve, Saguenay (Chicoutimi district)
    • January 16, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am: Media Opportunity at Saguenay Armoury
  • January 18 to 21: Palissades de Charlevoix, 1000 Route 170, Saint-Siméon

Snowmobile trails and roads taken

  • During their manoeuvres, the troops will successively take snowmobile trails 73, 355, 83, 367, 83 and 3. In total, some 45 snowmobiles will be used
  • Five wheeled military logistics vehicles will also be needed for the training. These vehicles will travel on highways 367, 155, 70 and 40

12e Régiment blindé du Canada

  • 12 RBC, one of the eight units making up 5th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (5 CMBG), will generate, maintain and use armored reconnaissance and, on order, tanks, to perform their assigned tasks competently, with efficiency and agility across the spectrum of operations, both domestically and internationally
  • 12 RBC is composed of three armoured reconnaissance squadrons and a headquarters squadron. An armoured squadron, based in Gagetown, New Brunswick, is also attached to 12 RBC. While it mainly employs Coyote vehicles, the Regiment is ready on order to use tank troops
  • About 40 D Squadron members of 12 RBC will take part in the training

4e régiment de chasseurs

  • 4e RCh is the armoured cavalry regiment of 27e brigade d'infanterie de montagne (27e BIM). Its role is to:
    • fight by combining rapid movement with powerful, varied and accurate fire
    • gather intelligence, namely on the enemy's intentions
    • control vast areas
  • The only mountain cavalry regiment, 4e RCh has unique capabilities, combining the cavalry's know-how with the hardiness and technical knowledge of mountain troops. This specialty gives the regiment an edge when fighting in harsh weather and steep terrain
  • About 50 members of 4e RCh will take part in the exercise

Winter warfare

  • This winter warfare training at the unit level is part of a series of unit exercises of 5th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, which will take place in Valcartier Base's training sectors and various Quebec municipalities between now and the end of February 2017. At the brigade level, this annual exercise is known as "RAFALE BLANCHE". Soldiers of 5 CMBG, which includes 12 RBC, have to train in a variety of environments to be ready for any type of mission. This is the reason behind Exercise RAFALE BLANCHE, where troops face the various physical, psychological and logistical challenges of a harsh winter climate
  • In addition to enabling newcomers to acquire elementary winter warfare proficiency, the training gives experienced soldiers an opportunity to update their knowledge. Driving snowmobiles, putting up a bivouac, conducting foot and mechanized patrols, and carrying out winter combat operations are only a few examples of the manoeuvres conducted by Valcartier troops


"This type of exchange between units benefits both 12 RBC troops and our French counterparts. Last year, for example, we were in the French Alps enhancing our mountain reconnaissance skills. This year, it's our turn to show and share our know-how with our French 'cousins'. We're making sure that we're ready to operate jointly with our armoured counterparts if need be."

Lieutenant-Colonel Éric Landry, Commanding Officer of 12e Régiment blindé du Canada

Related links

Contact Information

  • Captain Mathieu Dufour
    Public Affairs Officer
    5th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group
    418-844-5000, ext 4688 (during the week)
    Email: (at all times)