Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 24, 2011 15:31 ET

Minister MacKay Salutes the Canadian Rangers and Announces Rangers' Recruitment Milestone

WHITEHORSE, YUKON--(Marketwire - July 24, 2011) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today visited with Canadian Rangers, as well as Junior Canadian Rangers, in order to recognize their achievements and to mark a recent milestone in the ongoing, successful expansion of the Canadian Rangers program.

Minister MacKay announced that, since 2007, the Canadian Rangers have expanded from 4,100 Rangers and 161 Ranger Patrols to their current strength of nearly 4,700 Rangers and 173 Ranger Patrols. The Rangers program continues to make gains towards the government's overall goal of 5,000 members by the end of the 2012 fiscal year.

New Canadian Ranger patrols have been established at Faro and Hay River in Yukon Territory, Fort Nelson in British Columbia, Eabametoong, Kasabonica and Kingfisher in Ontario, Chisasibi and Iles-De-La-Madeleine in Quebec, and Hamilton in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Minister MacKay also presented members of the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group with Canadian Forces Decoration medals in recognition of their twelve years of good and loyal service.

"I am honoured to have this opportunity to recognize the achievements of members of the Canadian Rangers, and to thank them for the work they do to protect Canadians in remote communities and to safeguard Canada's North," said Minister MacKay. "The Canadian Rangers make an essential and unique contribution to the Canadian Forces. It is a great pleasure to salute their success, and to wish all our Canadian Rangers well as they prepare to demonstrate the growing capabilities of our Canadian Forces in the north through Operation Nanook."

The Canadian Rangers, a sub-component of the Canadian Forces Reserve, provide patrols and detachments for employment on national-security and public-safety missions in those sparsely settled northern, coastal and isolated areas of Canada. The Canadian Rangers are a vital source of information in Canada's North, acting as the military's eyes and ears in remote and isolated areas. Their official duties include observing and reporting any unusual behaviour and acting as guides and leaders for Canadian Forces members in the north.

Recently, members of the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group played an important role in the evacuation of several communities in Northern Ontario threatened by wildfires, including several First Nations communities. Also, members of the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group will take part in Operation Nanook, the Canadian Forces' annual northern training exercise, from August 8th through to the 22nd.

Many Canadian Rangers are involved as leaders and supervisors for the Department of National Defence's Junior Canadian Ranger Programme for youth ages 12 to 18. The Junior Canadian Ranger Programme provides a structured and supervised youth programme, which promotes discipline traditional cultures and lifestyles in remote and isolated communities of Canada. Junior Canadian Rangers have the opportunity to improve their self-esteem, learn how to handle increased responsibility, and have a better understanding of and connection with their communities.

For more information about the Canadian Rangers:

http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/land-terre/cr-rc/index-eng.asp

For more information on the Canadian Forces Decoration:

http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhr-ddhr/chc-tdh/chart-tableau-eng.asp?ref=CD&submit1=Go

For more information about Operation Nanook:

http://www.canadacom.forces.gc.ca/spec/nanook11-eng.asp

Note to editor / news director: For imagery of Minister MacKay's announcement please visit: http://www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca

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