Gimli, MB – Approximately 150 members of the Canadian Armed Forces deployed on Exercise ARCTIC BISON 2017 in Gimli, Manitoba on February 17, 2017.
To ensure that local soldiers are trained to work in austere winter conditions in support of domestic operations in Canada’s Arctic, Thunder Bay Army Reservists deployed to Gimli, Manitoba to participate in critical non-tactical winter warfare training.
Members of 38 Canadian Brigade Group’s (CBG) Service Battalion, Signal Regiment and the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment based in Thunder Bay are taking part in Exercise ARCTIC BISON 2017 (Ex AB17) that runs from Feb. 17 – 26. The exercise will see approximately 100 members of 38 CBG’s Arctic Response Company Group (ARCG) travel by snowmobile from Gimli to Berens Island on Lake Winnipeg to practice responding to a domestic operation.
This year, soldiers are traveling via snowmobile across Lake Winnipeg from Gimli to Berens Island to a notional civilian aircraft ‘crash site’. In the scenario, soldiers will deploy to the ‘crash site’, a 600 km round trip from Gimli, to assist government officials with their investigation and consequence management of the crash. While several Thunder Bay reservists will be out traveling on the ice, several will be positioned at the Land Component Command (LCC) headquarters in Gimli participating in supporting logistical roles.
“This is a great opportunity for soldiers to advance their skills and take part in winter training. As reservists, soldiers need to be ready to respond and contribute to a domestic operation. Ex AB 17 allows us to train those domestic operating skills,” said Major Darla Oja, Officer in Command of Thunder Bay’s 38 Service Battalion Detachment
“Many soldiers taking part in Ex AB 17 took time from their civilian employment or school to attend this exercise. As a part-time soldier, it is paramount that reservists continually train and this exercise is an excellent opportunity to test non-tactical winter warfare skills.”.
Ex AB 17 is 38 CBG’s annual ARCG exercise and includes reservists from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northern Ontario. With the ARCG, used by the Canadian Armed Forces to support the Regular Forces and the Canadian Rangers during operations taking place in the Canadian Arctic, soldiers are required to train regularly and participate in annual exercises in winter conditions. The majority of soldiers on the exercise are Reservists and serve in the military part-time.