Trillium Response trains soldiers in harsh winter conditions
Photos submitted by the Canadian Army
Canadian Ranger Sgt. Victor Rickard of Moose Factory teaches soldiers about basic snow machine maintainence.
Photos submitted by the Canadian Army 14.
Residents in the Moosonee-Cochrane region likely saw a flurry of military activity during the week of Feb. 11-21.
Contingents from the Canadian army, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Rangers took part in Exercise Trillium Response, an annual field training exercise aimed at developing and maintaining the armed forces’ capability and expertise to conduct various operations in remote areas and austere conditions.
This year’s exercise focused on a “defense of Canada” scenario in the region.
“It was a joint exercise for us, designed to give challenging scenarios for soldiers and the air force while testing our command and control, as well as logistics support in extreme winter conditions,” Chief of Staff Col. Jennie Carignan said.
More than 1,450 soldiers were deployed, including elements from two mechanized brigades and the air force.
Eighteen Canadian Rangers from Kashechewan, Fort Albany, Moose Factory and Constance Lake also took part in the exercise.
“We try to get Rangers from the communities that are close the area of operation because they know their area very well,” Carignan said.
The exercise involved various scenarios, including a reported plane crash outside of Cochrane. Residents also saw paratroopers jump from aircrafts.
The Canadian Forces released media advisories and had community consultations prior to the exercise to notify the public about the presence of military personnel, vehicles and aircraft in the region. This included a public service announcement that a high volume of Canadian Forces vehicles would be travelling on Highway 11 and 634 from Otter Rapids to Cochrane on Feb. 22.
Exercise Trillium Response is held in a different region each year, and is selected based on the scenarios and objectives.
This year, Carignan said the Canadian Armed Forces had been operating in Afghanistan for 10 years and needed to refresh their winter skills.
The Moosonee-Cochrane region offered aspects that met their criteria.
“The region offered a great setup for that as well as long lines of distance, which was 250 kilometres long,” she said.
As commander of the exercise, Carignan was pleased with the result.
“We had a good turnout and the opportunity to test our abilities and we’re extremely happy with how this turned out,” she said.
Carignan wanted to extend a public thank you to all communities that were involved.
“There’s no way we could have done this with out their support,” she said.
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