Canadian Rangers from Northern Ontario will embark on a monumental 13-day freighter canoe exercise during Exercise Ranger Tracker 22 in recognition of the Canadian Rangers 75th anniversary.
The 50-member 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (3CRPG) expedition will leave Parry Sound on nine large, motorized freighter canoes for a journey to Ottawa. The exercise starts on the 4th and ends on the 17 of September.
3CRPG members will reinforce their training annually during Exercise Ranger Tracker, and according to Major Charles Ohlke, this year Rangers will be instructed on safe watercraft operation and first-aid during the voyage.
“A lot of where we operate in Northern Ontario is only accessible by water, so it makes a lot of sense,” said Major Ohlke.
While on the water, Rangers will receive training in conducting a water rescue, navigation, weather, emergency preparedness, and more.
The Canadian Rangers in Ontario are predominantly First Nation, and live and serve in their Northern communities. So far this year, members have participated in 10 Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) missions, rescuing 13 people, including two stranded truckers on an ice road, an injured Attawapiskat snowmobiler and two young hunters whose All-Terrain Vehicles broke down, leaving them stranded about 100 km away from their communities.
3CRPG Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel Shane McArthur said the idea for a canoe exercise was proposed a few years ago in recognition of the 75th anniversary and it quickly took off.
“I loved the idea. This exercise is for the Rangers and the headquarters staff. The exercise ends in Ottawa as part of the 75th celebrations and I couldn’t be happier as commanding officer,” said Lieutenant-Colonel McArthur. “This exercise not only serves as an event to recognize our 75 years of service to Canada, it’s also an opportunity for Canadians to interact with CRs and learn about what we 3 CRPG do within Ontario and the CAF”.
The fleet of canoes will pass through numerous communities, including Big Chute, Orillia, Talbot, Buckhorn, Peterborough, Rice Lake, Trenton, Kingston, Smith Falls and Burritts Rapids.
3CRPG and the Junior Canadian Ranger program are based at CFB Borden near Barrie and is staffed by military personal and army instructors who travel regularly to Northern Ontario to train Canadian Rangers.
The Canadian Rangers are a sub-component of the Primary Army Reserve who live and serve in remote, isolated coastal areas of Canada.