Snow or no? Christmas not as white as it once was in Atlantic Canada
AMHERST, N.S. - There was a time when a white Christmas was as much a sure thing as, well, Christmas.
‘Deploying to these different locations may require a lot of skills’
Soldiers from a number of different units converged on Labrador from March 4 to 13 to participate in EX Stalwart Goose 16, a training exercise to help soldiers work in the north.
©Photos courtesy of the Canadian Armed Forces
From March 4 to the 13 walkers in Labrador may have encountered large numbers of military personnel.
Not to worry, they were just there for the annual training exercise the military holds in the area.
The exercise, called Ex Stalwart Goose 16, saw soldiers from 37 Canadian Brigade Group deployed to 5 Wing Goose to work with the Arctic Response Company Group, the 5 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group and the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Colonel Michel Morin, commander of 37 Canadian Brigade Group, said the exercise is to help train soldiers to work in the north.
“We conduct this type of exercise annually to make sure we can operate in these areas,” he said. “Remote areas are challenging places to go and this is something our soldiers are well suited for. So by providing them quality training in a challenging atmosphere, it’s something that keeps everyone up to speed as far as capability and effectiveness goes.”
He said with Canada being such a large and diverse country the armed forces are lucky to have excellent opportunities for training.
“Canada is a large country, a beautiful country and we are lucky to be able to live and operate in a free country like this,” Morin said. “Reaching out to the north is something we must focus on and be able to operate in. Deploying to these different locations may require a lot of skills.”
In addition to performing their training exercises the military has been interacting a lot with the locals. The personnel were welcome in the different communities wherever they went, Morin said. They tried local foods, chatted with whoever they could and even played a game of hockey against the locals in Nain. What impressed him most though was how everyone worked together.
“It’s a team effort,” he said. “You see people getting off the trials with the snow machines and if they’re having trouble there’s someone to help them. Everyone shares and helps each other. It’s great. It’s very interesting and something we would like to see everywhere we’re going.”
Morin described the landscape as ‘challenging and beautiful’ and said the soldiers really appreciated the natural beauty. The exercise isn’t available to all soldiers so the ones who could attend were very happy. Some people have done it three or four times and are always ready to go again, Morin said.