ARCHIVED - 37 Canadian Brigade Group proves Arctic response capability

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Image Gallery

Article / March 25, 2014

More than 150 Reservists from 37 Canadian Brigade Group (37 CBG) challenged the austere conditions of the sub-arctic this March during Exercise STALWART GOOSE 14 (Ex SG 14) where temperatures dipped to –51°C and exposed skin could freeze in seconds.

“As part of the Canada First Defence Strategy, the Canadian Armed Forces are mandated to support a significant presence in the Arctic,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Ronald Bertin, Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion, Royal New Brunswick Regiment and officer conducting the exercise. “Their training this week will qualify them for the challenge of operating for an extended period in the North.”

Prior to Ex SG 14, five years of exercises, training and courses prepared 37 CBG to operate effectively as the 5th Canadian Division’s Arctic Response Company Group (ARCG). The capabilities of the ARCG were put to the test. The training value received from this adventure into the Arctic was significant.

The exercise consisted of long-range patrols on light over snow vehicles (LOSV) from 5 Wing Goose Bay north to the outlying community of Postville. It was a journey of 480 km, and done in significantly difficult weather that ranged from zero-visibility snow squalls to deep, eyelash-freezing cold.

The soldiers of 37 CBG were supported by the invaluable expertise of members of the 5th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, who are specialists in survival and mobility in these severe environmental conditions. The Rangers, from many different communities within Newfoundland and Labrador, have significant experience in towing supplies, traveling over sea ice, and knowing where to make camp and how to keep warm in this arctic environment.

 “It’s essential to have opportunities to train in locations like Goose Bay,” LCol Bertin added. “The area provides us with a unique place to conduct our training that many of our soldiers may not have interacted with before. This exercise has been the most challenging so far for the ARCG. Many lessons about working and surviving in the Arctic were re-learned and many more new lessons were experienced for the first time. I am extremely satisfied with the accomplishments achieved by the Canadian Army and the ARCG.”

Date modified: