Canadian troops head to the Arctic for major military exercise
The Canadian military is planning a major exercise in the Arctic. This will be the first [of] its size in decades.
It will be the first time that Canada’s armoured vehicles, used in the heat of Afghanistan, will be tested on the frozen tundra.
The exercise will allow the army to test its weaponry against defensive positions made out of ice, which can be almost as hard as steel.
More than 1,500 troops will be deployed for the Arctic Ram exercise which will run from February 14 to 26.
Kenora Daily Miner And News
January 20, 2012
Kenora reserve soldiers train for Arctic Ram winter combat exercise
By Reg Clayton
-“With the (withdrawal of Canadian) combat forces from Afghanistan, this is an opportunity to reacquire skills to shoot, move and communicate in high arctic conditions. The ability to operate in the arctic is identified as one of six core tasks under the Canada First Defence Strategy.”
As if January in Northwestern Ontario isn’t cold enough, two reserve soldiers with Kenora’s 116th Independent Field Battery have volunteered for Arctic Ram; a joint winter combat operations exercise taking place northwest of Yellowknife from Feb. 17 to 27.
Bombardier Kyle Friesen and Bombardier Brandon Thompson prepared for the deployment by taking part in the Winter Warfare training course in Kenora this week…
Thompson, who is from Fort Frances, is looking forward to participating in Arctic Ram with friends from other artillery units he’s known since basic training and other courses he’s been on during his three years with the Kenora reserve.
Capt. Jon Baker explained the 116th Independent Field is one of three artillery components attached to 38 Brigade Group responsible for all army reserve units in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. Friesen and Thompson will participate in Arctic Ram along with reserve and regular forces soldiers from Edmonton, Shilo and the 1st Canadian Mechanized Unit.
“With the (withdrawal of Canadian) combat forces from Afghanistan, this is an opportunity to reacquire skills to shoot, move and communicate in high arctic conditions,” Baker said. “The ability to operate in the arctic is identified as one of six core tasks under the Canada First Defence Strategy.”
Last year five Kenora reservists took part in Northern Bison 2011. The joint training exercise of the 38 Brigade designated arctic response company group put their cold weather training to the test as 265 soldier travelled more than 300 kilometre by snowmobile from Churchill, Manitoba to Arviat, Nunavut.
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