Canadian Army begins winter training exercise

Exercise RAFALE BLANCHE 2016, which began this week and will end on February 19, 2016, will be held in the Valcartier training areas and in the municipalities of Nicolet and Bécancour with the participation of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (5 CMBG) units based in Valcartier. The exercise will enable 5 CMBG members to conduct military manoeuvres in winter conditions.

Foreign troops and numerous reservists will also contribute to the training. About 20 Polish soldiers will take part in the exercise with their counterparts from 3 Battalion Royal 22e Régiment (3 R22eR).

Exercise RAFALE BLANCHE 2016 ensures that 5 CMBG units are at a high level of readiness for winter operations. The training enables us to maintain an alert, agile and adaptable force that is ready for all types of missions, regardless of climatic conditions.

Because of Canada’s geographic reality, our troops must be very proficient in winter operations. 5 CMBG units will have the opportunity to hone and demonstrate their capabilities in harsh winter weather during Exercise RAFALE BLANCHE 2016. Personnel and winter equipment will be put to the test during the exercise.

A platoon made up of about 20 members of the Polish army will participate in the exercise as part of an infantry company from 3 Battalion Royal 22e Régiment. The foreign military members will participate in offensive and defensive operations alongside the soldiers from 3 Battalion Royal 22e Régiment from February 1 to 5.

A portion of Exercise RAFALE BLANCHE 2016 will take place in the municipalities of Nicolet and Bécancour from February 4 to 7, where the members of 12e Régiment blindé du Canada (12 RBC) will perform manoeuvres in civilian areas in partnership with Primary Reserve units, 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron and 5 Field Ambulance. The terrain is well suited for the armoured regiment’s activities because of its wide-open spaces and the new opportunities it offers.

Many Reserve units will participate in Exercise RAFALE BLANCHE. To name a few, units from Trois-Rivières, Sherbrooke, Montreal and Gatineau will support 12 RBC in Nicolet from February 5 to 7.

This training will enable us to retain the high professional standard that our troops demonstrate around the world. Ultimately, this type of exercise maintains the troops’ flexibility to meet Canada’s needs at home and abroad in different environments and to develop combined arms capabilities with the support of the Reserve.