Valcartier, Quebec – 04 February 2018: Annually members of the Regiment are required to confirm that they are capable of surviving and operating in a winter environment.  This was the “raison d’être” of Ex LYNX POLAIRE that took place in Valcartier on the weekend of 2-4 February 2018.

With the return of LCol John Shone as CO of the RMR, the Regiment returned to old practices and the exercise was conducted as a Regimental activity and therefore saw not only B-Coy (the RMR’s Light Infantry Coy) but members of the HQ & Services Coy and a Basic Winter Warfare serial deploy to Sector 5A.

Lt Farrington assists OCdt McLaughlin with his battle procedure for a night time ambush

Greeted by a brisk minus 18oC that felt more like minus 26 oC with the wind, the main body was fortunate that the advance party had used their time judiciously and had the bivouac well prepared for their arrival.  There were a lot of moving parts involved in the weekend as the Regiment saw B-Coy conducting more advanced training while other members conducted basic level winter indoctrination and further still the Regiment supported the conduct of the final exercise for a serial of a Basic Winter Warfare course.

Cpl Bieschieri and Pte Peng seen distributing breakfast rations

After a much appreciated fresh, warm breakfast on the Saturday morning following what was a late Friday night, the various entities moved through their schedules and got to training.  The snow filled landscape of Valcartier’s bullpen was the ideal setting for what was to be accomplished and as one looked around you could plainly see soldiers improving their skill sets whether it be strapping on the CAF snowshoes to trudge through the four feet of snow you could find in the woods or it was soldiers hacking away at logs while building improvised shelters.

Members of B-Coy prepare improvised shelters

Members of B-Coy prepare improvised shelters

Members of BWW 1801 stand behind an example of a winter defence

Members of BWW 1801 taking up position behind their winter defences

The Lantern Whisperer, Corporal Jaggi in action

Overall numbers were low on the exercise due to conflicts with other RMR tasks but in the end the RMR did what it does and got the job done for all those present.  The exercise was a clear demonstration that refresher training is a regular requirement as there was evidence of a lack of confidence with certain tasks such as the crucial skill of using and maintaining field stoves and lanterns.  But on a positive note it allowed those with a knack for it to shine.  Take for example Cpl Nimit Jaggi that has been bestowed the title of stove/lantern whisperer after being observed stripping and assembling a lantern further than I have ever seen it done, fixing it.  The lower numbers also forced some lower ranked members to step up and help out those with a little less experience.

Another exercise behind us in what has been a busy year, the RMR now prepares for Ex GUERRIER ENDURCI 2018 which will take place from 4-10 March 2018 in the suburbs to the south of Montreal.