RCAF flies Arctic Ram
RCAF flies Arctic Ram
Mar. 2, 2012
Exercise Arctic Ram 12, 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group’s (1 CMBG) inaugural training exercise, was conducted in the Northwest Territories from February 14 to 26, 2012.
Based near Yellowknife, N.W.T., with elements working around Behchoko, Whati and Gameti, it was the biggest and most complex Canadian Army-led exercise ever undertaken in the Canadian Arctic. The Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force worked with the Army, supporting the exercise.
The Air Component of the exercise involved fixed wing aircraft, helicopters and crews from across Canada. It provided aircraft support, airlift of people and equipment and was available for medical evacuation, if required, of sick or injured Canadian Forces personnel.
Air Force units participating in the exercise were
- 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron, flying the CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft, from 14 Wing Greenwood, N.S.
- 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, flying four CH-146 Griffon helicopters, from 1 Wing Kingston, Ont. (located at Edmonton, Alta.).
- 436 Transport Squadron, flying two CC-130J Hercules airlifters, from 8 Wing Trenton, Ont.
- 440 Transport Squadron, flying the CC-138 Twin Otter, from 17 Wing Winnipeg, Man. (located in Yellowknife, N.W.T.).
Additional personnel and equipment came from 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta., 17 Wing Winnipeg, Man., and 19 Wing Comox, B.C.
The activities of Feb. 19 are a good illustration of the support that the RCAF provided. The day’s highly successful parachute jumps were the second time, in less than a week, that paratroopers at the company level (that is, 120 soldiers) landed in Canada’s North – something that had not occurred since 1995.
During that 24-hour period, paratroopers from Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI), conducted several parachute jumps – twice into Gameti and once into Whati.
The paratroopers jumped out of CC- 130J Hercules aircraft at an altitude of approximately 1,000 feet (305 metres). A Light Equipment Load (toboggans with survival equipment) was dropped after the paratroopers landed. In addition, 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron supported the parachute drops with medical evacuation helicopters on standby at both drop zone (DZ) locations.
“Today’s operations were extremely successful,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Nick Grimshaw, Chief of Staff, 1 CMBG, regarding the Feb. 19 activities. “The airborne insertions into Whati and Gameti were executed according to plan through the dedicated support of the Air Component Commander and its affiliated Royal Canadian Air Force elements.”
Arctic Ram’s goal was to permit soldiers to re-familiarize themselves with northern operations by assessing the ability of 1 CMBG to operate in a harsh winter environment, testing all personnel and equipment, and providing an opportunity for many soldiers to develop an awareness of the unique requirements of Arctic operations.
Most of the approximately 1,500 participants came from western Canada, particularly from Edmonton and Shilo, Man.
To read more about Exercise Arctic Ram, including the daily updates from the exercise, visit http://www.army.gc.ca/lfwa/ex_arcticram12-eng.asp.
For more photographs of the exercise, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/lfwapao