Northern Ontario Canadian Rangers Teach Winter Survival Techniques

5 02 2011

A platoon from Dukes Company, 1 RCR, establishes a bivouac site in Moosonee, Ontario, during Exercise Royal Yeti on 20 Jan, 2011. - Combat Camera

Moosonee, Ontario — Duke’s Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment conducted an increasingly complex winter-warfare training exercise January 14–28. The first segment of Exercise ROYAL YETI involved learning the fading skill set of basic winter survival techniques.

“The troops are excited about it,” says Major Dave Fearon, the Officer Commanding of Duke’s Company. “It’s a great opportunity to come here and learn these skills in this environment.”

Cold and remote
Moosonee is located on the south-western edge of James Bay in Northern Ontario. Although it shares the same latitude of 51° N with London, England and Berlin, Germany, it can get just as cold as the Far North for a significant portion of the year. Moosonee has a subarctic climate, with mean daily temperatures in January of approximately -30°C and an average annual snowfall around 240 cm.

Approximately 200 soldiers from Duke’s Company got a taste of these conditions when they travelled to Moosonee. The epic journey took almost six hours by bus from Petawawa to Cochrane, and then six more by rail to Moosonee, before they wearily emerged into temperatures of -35°C. It was a portent of things to come, but soldiers from 3 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (3 CRPG) were on hand to impart their knowledge of the North.

Various stands were set up into a three-day cycle, with the platoons deploying every day to learn survival techniques. “We have 28 Rangers here,” explains Master Warrant Officer Rob Patterson, the sergeant major of 3 CRPG. “These are hard core bush guys. This is a normal day at work for them.”

Read the rest at Army News

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