Erikfjellet (Erik Mountain) Norway, Exercise COLD RESPONSE—Cheryl Gallant, MP joined members of the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment from CFB Petawawa, for EXERCISE COLD RESPONSE, a Norway Invitational training exercise.
“The main benefit for our Canadian soldiers who are participating in this exercise is to practise winter exercises which have been on hold since the Afghanistan mission,” stated Cheryl Gallant, MP. “Now that our mission to Afghanistan is drawing to a close, it is time for our troops to return to honing conventional skills that are more relevant to Canadian requirements.”
Approximately 800 soldiers from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, along with troops from 2CER, 2RCHA and 2 Service Battalion, located in Petawawa are deployed for Exercise Cold Response in northern Norway. Exercise Cold Response 2012 is a Norwegian invitational military exercise with the main activities taking place from March 12 – 21, 2012 with approximately 16,000 participants from 15 nations.
“Training in northern conditions fulfills one of the goals of our ‘Canada First’ Defence policy. That goal is the ability to exercise Arctic Sovereignty,” said MP Gallant. “That, and the interoperability aspect of this training exercise make it highly valuable. This deployment has been an unqualified success.”
“Veteran soldiers have told me this is one of their most memorable exercises. For new recruits, this represents a different dimension to their military career, something very different than would have been the case if they had deployed to Afghanistan,” remarked Cheryl Gallant, MP. “For some soldiers, this is their first time outside of Canada.”
CFB Petawawa, located in the upper Ottawa Valley, in Renfrew County, is home to the largest army base in Canada. CFB Petawawa is the home base of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, 2 Area Support Group Headquarters, Area Support Unit Petawawa, 2 Service Battalion and Combat Support Service Training Company, Group Signals Squadron, Canadian Forces Special Operations Forces Command, 1 Canadian Field Hospital, Canadian Medical Equipment Depot, and the Canadian Special Operations Regiment.