Winter survival training for soldiers in Canada’s North

Soldiers from 5th Canadian Division’s Arctic Response Company Group (ARCG) deployed over the weekend to Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, to hone their skills in winter survival and enhance their combat skills in an extreme cold weather environment on Exercise STALWART GOOSE. The annual winter exercise, involving about 240 CAF members, will run until March 12.

“Exercise STALWART GOOSE is going to be an exciting and demanding opportunity that will develop our soldiers’ individual and collective skills in northern operations and make them more confident in their abilities to operate in this often unforgiving environment," said Brigadier-General Carl Turenne, Commander, 5th Canadian Division.

Personnel from 37 Canadian Brigade Group (37 CBG) and 5th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (5 CRPG), along with members of 5 Wing Goose Bay and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, will join the ARCG for the week-long exercise.

Exercise participants will conduct long range snowmobile patrols, build improvised shelters and defence structures, and establish ice roads and aircraft landing strips to enable mobility. They will also exercise winter warfare and survival skills training in winter conditions.

“Exercise STALWART GOOSE is one of the many ways the Canadian Army contributes to the security of Canada’s North," said Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. "The Canadian Armed Forces need to be ready to operate in any environment and Canada’s North offers some of the most challenging terrain in our vast country.”

The Canadian Rangers, known as the “eyes and ears” of the North, will be supporting this exercise, passing on their expert survival and navigation skills.

Four Arctic Response Company Groups (ARCGs) provide forces for sovereignty operations across the Canadian North. They are primarily composed of Army reservists and supported by the Regular Force. Two ARCGs are maintained at high-readiness for summer deployments and two for winter deployments.