Exercise NORTHERN SOJOURN 2018 Backgrounder

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Backgrounder / March 1, 2018 / Project number: 18-0089

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Halifax, Nova Scotia —The Canadian Army’s 5th Canadian Division (5 Cdn Div) will be conducting a winter warfare training exercise in areas throughout southern Labrador from March 2 to 11, 2018.


Exercise NORTHERN SOJOURN 2018 (Ex NS18) is 5 Cdn Div’s annual advanced winter warfare training exercise that aims to confirm the Division’s ability to initiate and sustain operations in harsh climates of the Canadian North.This includes the deployment and employment of the Immediate Reaction Unit (IRU) Vanguard Company and the Arctic Response Company Group (ARCG). Retaining the ability to conduct a full range of operations in the Arctic and sub-Arctic is imperative to the Canadian Army’s mission to protect sovereignty and defend national interests in the North.

More than 400 Canadian soldiers will participate in Ex NS18 along with approximately 50 soldiers from the United States Army and eight soldiers from the Polish Army.

Ex NS18 provides 5 Cdn Div soldiers with the opportunity to meet Labradoreans, showcase the Canadian Army’s commitment to protecting the North, and demonstrate the soldiers’ winter warfare capabilities. In light of this, 5 Cdn Div will be hosting a Community Day in Churchill Falls on March 6, 2018.

Key Training Events

Ex NS18 features a full winter warfare training scenario with command and tactical elements that is tailored to northern operations and incorporates specialized training such as:

  • defensive winter warfare tactics;
  • winter survival skills;
  • live-fire rifle training;
  • snowmobile operations and patrol tactics;
  • tactical manoeuvres in austere conditions, and
  • Civil-military cooperation.

5th Canadian Division

5 Cdn Div is comprised of both Regular Force and Primary Reserve units in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and in Newfoundland and Labrador. It is responsible for Canadian Army operations and activities throughout Atlantic Canada and its newly formed Canadian Combat Support Brigade provides the Canadian Army with unique combat support enablers drawn from units from coast-to-coast.

Immediate Reaction Unit (Vanguard Company)

The 5 Cdn Div’s IRU consists of Regular Force soldiers from one of the two full-time regiments in Atlantic Canada. The personnel assigned to the IRU remain in a state of high readiness at all times so that they can be called upon to support domestic operations in the region in support of emergencies and natural disasters.

Each year, a different 5 Cdn Div unit is selected to serve as the IRU. This year these requirements are being fulfilled by 4 Engineer Support Regiment based out of 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown. 

Arctic Response Company Group

The 5 Cdn Div’s ARCG consists of Reserve Force personnel from various units of 37 Canadian Brigade Group throughout New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. It was created to train and maintain troops that are capable of conducting a wide range of operations in northern environments that could be called upon at short notice to respond to potential threats in the Canadian North.


Captain Jamie Tobin
Public Affairs Officer
5th Canadian Division
Phone: 902-441-3209
Email: Jamie.Tobin@forces.gc.ca

Related Products

News Release: Canadian Army enhancing advanced winter warfare readiness in Labrador
Photos: Exercise NORTHERN SOJOURN 2017
Video: Exercise NORTHERN SOJOURN 2017

Associated Links

5th Canadian Division website
5th Canadian Division Facebook

5th Canadian Division Twitter
5th Canadian Division YouTube
5th Canadian Division Flickr

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