Canadian Troops Working Up to EX Northern Bison 2011

7 02 2011

Source: Land Force Western Area (LFWA)

From 14 to 27 February, 2011, Land Force Western Area soldiers will trek by snowmobile from Churchill, Manitoba more than 300 kilometres North to the village of Arviat, Nunavut.

The exercise will begin when members of Combat Support Company from the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry will move forward and establish Forward Operating Base Nunalla, in Manitoba just South of the 60th Parallel. FOB Nunalla will include an austere airfield to accommodate CC-138 Twin Otter aircraft of the Air Force’s 440 “Vampire” Transport Squadron, based in Yellowknife and a field-expedient small arms firing range.

The Arctic Response Company Group (ARCG), comprised of soldiers from across 38 Canadian Brigade Group, will be airlifted from 17 Wing Winnipeg to fall in on pre-positioned equipment in Churchill, and make their way North to FOB Nunalla. Once at FOB Nunalla the troops will carry out training exercises such as field firing of their weapons and practise Northern survival skills. Accompanying the Arctic Response Company Group to FOB Nunalla will be Canadian Rangers from the Manitoba Detachment of the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group.

Once the training is complete at FOB Nunalla the Arctic Response Company Group will marry-up with Rangers from the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group who will accompany them to Arviat, Nunavut. In Arviat, members of the Arctic Response Company Group will have an opportunity to meet the residents of Arviat on 26 February and learn something of the culture of the Canadian North. The Arctic Response Company Group will redeploy from Arviat to Winnipeg on 27 February.

Why the North?
Soldier driving a Light Over Snow Vehicle

First and foremost, the Canadian Forces must ensure the security of our citizens and help exercise Canada’s sovereignty. Canadians rightly expect their military to be there for them in domestic crises. Furthermore, excellence at home requires the Forces not only to identify threats, but also to possess the capacity to address them quickly and effectively.

Four-tenths of Canada’s landmass lies north of the 60th parallel. This vast tract of land, which includes the 19,000 islands of the Arctic archipelago, is at once one of Canada’s most precious inheritances and one of its greatest challenges.

In keeping with the Canada First Defence Strategy, Land Force Western Area soldiers must be prepared to operate around in Canada, in North America and around the world. For almost ten years soldiers from the West have been engaged in operations in the deserts and mountains of Afghanistan. We have sent soldiers to operations in the jungles of Africa. We must be prepared to operate in everywhere within our own country, including the North.

Units Taking Part in EX Northern Bison

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