OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 8, 2013) - More than 2000 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) soldiers have and continue to participate in a series of winter warfare exercises in northern Canada during the months of February and March.
"Exercising sovereignty in Canada's Arctic is a priority of Canada's Northern Strategy," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "This training enhances the operational effectiveness of the Canadian Armed Forces in extreme cold weather conditions."
Three major winter warfare exercises have been completed across the country in Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador, while another exercise is currently underway in Quebec. These exercises take place in extreme climate conditions to test capabilities and equipment in regions similar to those in Canada's Arctic. Exercising in areas other than the far North offers cost-savings while maintaining a high level of readiness due to realistic environmental conditions.
"In this year's winter training cycle the Army will undergo a variety of tactical, and operational exercises and manoeuvres," said Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin, Commander of the Canadian Army. "This type of training ensures that the Army is able to fulfill its commitment to full operational capacity and readiness."
Listed below are the completed and ongoing exercises.
TRILLIUM RESPONSE - February 11 to 21
Approximately 1500 soldiers from across Ontario, accompanied by 3 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, participated in this winter exercise. Its main headquarters was based in Cochrane, Ontario, but other CAF personnel were based near Moosonee, Fraserdale, Abitibi Canyon, and Iroquois Falls. This large-scale exercise incorporated parachute operations, patrols, mechanized operations, and a live-fire range.
NORTHERN SAPPER - February 11 to 27
Approximately 220 soldiers from 36 and 37 Canadian Brigade Groups partnered with 5 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, to participate in this exercise in Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. Soldiers deployed to a sub-arctic environment where they enhanced basic winter warfare skills.
ARCTIC BISON - February 16 to 24
More than 120 soldiers, largely from 38 Canadian Brigade Group, were deployed as an Arctic Response Company Group to Candle Lake in Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan. Accompanied by 4 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, participants in this exercise utilized basic winter warfare skills, and conducted Arctic patrolling.
GUERRIER NORDIQUE - February 19 to March 9
Nearly 350 soldiers from different parts of Quebec are participating in this exercise. The majority of CAF personnel are based in Schefferville, with the rest in Sept-Îles. Working with their colleagues from 2 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, the main objective of the training is to prepare the troops for any future operation in northern Quebec.