Canadian soldiers in Norway for the cold-weather combat exercise COLD RESPONSE 2014 1903143

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Canadian troops in Norway

 
 
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 09:13 AM
 
Canadian soldiers in Norway for the cold-weather combat exercise COLD RESPONSE 2014.
Approximately 350 Canadian soldiers are in Norway as part of a massive NATO cold-weather combat exercise. Organized and led by the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, the exercise involves some 16,000 personnel on land, at sea and in the air from 16 countries.
     
Approximately 350 Canadian soldiers are in Norway as part of a massive NATO cold-weather combat exercise. Organized and led by the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, the exercise involves some 16,000 personnel on land, at sea and in the air from 16 countries.
Corporal Jonathan Michel, 3R22eR, A Company, maintains a security perimeter with the C16 Automatic Grenade Launcher during Exercise COLD RESPONSE near Sjøvegan, Norway on March 13, 2014. Photo by: MCpl Dan Pop

     

The Canadian contingent consists mostly of the light infantry and support companies of 3rd Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment, from Valcartier in Quebec. They are augmented by Counter-IED specialists from across Canada and other elements of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (5 CMBG). Umpires from Wainwright, Alberta are also part of the contingent: soldiers with the role to enforce the aims and rules of the exercise. The Canadian contingent is being led by Lieutenant-Colonel Steve Jourdain, the Commanding Officer of the VanDoo battalion.

“We’re ready for this,” he declared as the troops boarded their charter for Norway. Along with the rest of 5 CMBG, the VanDoos had spent part of January in the deep snow south of Quebec City rehearsing the skills of fighting and surviving in near-arctic conditions during Exercise RAFALE BLANCHE. The exercise there, says LCol Jourdain, was “organized to prepare for what we expected to do” in Norway.

Their first challenge, though, wasn’t expected at all: a steady cold rain that soaked everything – including the troops – and led to avalanche warnings all across northern Norway.

     
Approximately 350 Canadian soldiers are in Norway as part of a massive NATO cold-weather combat exercise. Organized and led by the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, the exercise involves some 16,000 personnel on land, at sea and in the air from 16 countries.
Approximately 350 Canadian Army soldiers from 5e Groupe-brigade mécanisé du Canada (5 GBMC) are taking part in Exercise COLD RESPONSE (EX CR14) in Harstad, #Norway, from March 10 to 22.
     

The Canadian start-line was drawn not far from Narvik. Their task, as part of a multi-national task force, is to push an invading force back to where it came from. They’ll have about a week to accomplish that.

And there are, to be sure, many others with them in the effort. The Norwegians themselves have committed their entire Brigade North – about 4,000 troops – plus a Home Guard battalion. Off the northern coast they have six fighting ships and a unit of coastal commandoes; in the air, fighters, transport, surveillance, and assorted helicopters. Their naval assets are augmented by frigates from France and Poland as well as substantial amphibious forces from the Netherlands and the US Marines. In the air, further surveillance, tactical, and transport assets have come from Germany, Sweden, and the United States. Land forces include a French battle group, Swedish light and mechanized infantry, a small Ranger battalion from Germany, and even Reserve troops from Denmark. Elements of Special Forces are also involved from nine different nations.

The Canadians might be wet, but they certainly won’t be lonely.

The exercise wraps up March 22, 2014.

 

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