Code-named NOREX 2015, the exercise involves nearly 200 soldiers from the Canadian Army Regular and Reserve Force, including 31 Canadian Brigade Group, 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, and 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, as well as Canadian Rangers.
The exercise includes live-fire exercises and patrols in isolated areas, with the participants facing harsh winter conditions as they highlight the army’s ability to assert Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic.
Canadian Associate Defence Minister Julian Fantino said: "The ability for Canadian soldiers to operate so effectively in the Arctic is a testament to the world class skills they possess.
"Our government is committed to maintaining operational capabilities in Canada’s north, as we continue to monitor and respond to any activity or aggression that threatens our sovereignty."
Canadian Army commander lieutenant-general Marquis Hainse said: "Every time our soldiers train in our Northern regions, we achieve three goals: we exercise Canada’s sovereignty in the region, we advance Canadian armed forces capabilities for Arctic operations; and we improve interdepartmental coordination and interoperability in response to Northern safety and security issues."
4th Canadian Division commander brigadier-general Lowell Thomas said: "NOREX 2015 is a tremendous opportunity for 4th Canadian Division soldiers to test their survivability, mobility and sustainability in Canada’s Arctic, ensuring our men and women in uniform remain prepared to assist Canadians wherever and whenever military help is required."
Exercise NOREX 2015 is scheduled to conclude on 30 March.
According to the Canadian Army, the ability to operate in winter conditions within the country is directly identified in the first of the six core missions within the Canada First Defence Strategy.
Image: Canadian Army personnel during a training exercise. Photo: courtesy of lance corporal Christopher J Gallagher.