Detailed Project Description
Northern Exercise 2018 (NOREX 18)
1. Outline Project Activities.
The Canadian Army maintains a variety of forces on standby for deployment within Canada. These forces are designed to support Other Government Departments (OGD) in a response to a domestic emergency situation and include reasonably well known organisations such as SAR (Search and Rescue). As part of this overall force posture, the Divisions of the Canadian Army are required to maintain forces on standby for domestic employment. The Regular Force component maintained by each Division is the Immediate Reaction Unit (IRU). The IRU task rotates on a six month schedule amongst the major units of each Canadian Mechanised Brigade Group and may be assigned tasks as diverse a forest fire fighting to flood mitigation at any location throughout Canada. Furthermore, and specifically oriented toward the Arctic environment, each Division also maintains an Arctic Response Company Group (ARCG) composed primarily of members of the Primary Reserve. These are part-time soldiers who are trained in the specific skills necessary to enable deployment to the high Arctic region in the event of a domestic emergency. Both the Regular and Reserve components of these standby forces, the IRU and ARCG respectively, are afforded the opportunity to train within the Arctic region on a rotational basis, the exact intervals being determined by pan-Army scheduling factors such as overseas deployments.
In February 2018 the Vanguard Company of the IRU and ARCG from 4th Canadian Division with Headquarters in Toronto will be afforded the opportunity to conduct training in Nunavut. This training will be staged from the Canadian Armed Forces Arctic Training Centre (CAFATC) located in Resolute, NU. A small group will arrive approximately two weeks prior to the majority of the soldiers in order to conduct necessary equipment preparation and checks. This group will be housed at CAFATC until the arrival of the Vanguard Company of the IRU. This infantry based organisation of approximately 110 members will then conduct acclimatisation training in the vicinity of CAFATC prior to moving out on to the land. Movement by Ski-Doo will see this company occupy a camp location approximately seven kilometres east of the Hamlet of Resolute. Members of the local community will know this area as the location of the aircraft wreck from a crash in the late 1960s. From this camp smaller groups of soldiers numbering no more than 30 at a time will patrol further east to the shore of Cornwallis Island. Similar sized groups may also return to CAFATC to conduct aerial patrols to the communities of Arctic Bay and Grise Fjord. All patrols will be no more than 24 hours in duration before returning to the main camp at the crash site. After approximately four days, the ARCG will arrive at CAFATC. This is also a 110 member organisation and, once complete acclimatisation training, will relieve the IRU Vanguard Company who will then return to CAFATC for travel south. ARCG training will mirror that conducted by the IRU Vanguard Company, including maintaining a camp in approximately the same location and the conduct of patrols. Members of 1 CRPG will at all times be present with soldiers while at the main camp site as well as when on patrols. A small arms range (rifle and shot gun) is also planned to take place in the vicinity of RESOLUTE BAY, at a location used previously for this purpose, by both the IRU and the ARCG. The overall aim of training is to ensure the ability of the IRU and ARCG to move, communicate and survive in the harsh conditions of a Nunavut winter thus ensuring their ability to provide support to OGD in the event of a domestic emergency.
2. Schedule of Activities.
The leading elements of the IRU Vanguard Company, along with the core personnel from the Exercise Control (EXCON) cell will arrive no sooner than 25 January 2018. The main exercise period will commence 4 February 2018 with the arrival of the IRU Vanguard Company and all training will conclude 16 February 2018. Participant numbers will be greatest following the arrival of the ARCG on 10 February 2018, but will then quickly reduce with the departure of the IRU Vanguard Company on 12 February 2018. It is important to note that at no time will both the IRU and ARCG Company be camped together at the main camp location. The ARCG will depart on 17 February 2018 with only a small rear element remaining which will depart no later than 20 February 2018 following the return of equipment to CAFATC.
3. Preliminary Plan.
The first Advance Party flight will arrive 25 January 2018 and will consist of no more than 30 soldiers. These personnel will remain at CAFATC conducting serviceability checks of ski-doos, camp stores equipment, communications equipment and other key items. A second Advance Party flight will arrive 29 January 2018 and will bring with it 15 personnel and additional equipment. The Main Body of the IRU Vanguard Company, consisting of approximately 100 additional personnel, will arrive 4 February 2018 with troops initially housed within CAFATC facilities. Once their tents and Ski-Doos are prepared, they will commence preliminary acclimatisation training within the immediate vicinity of Resolute. This training will most likely be conducted at Crystal City, the established training site located approximately two kilometres north of CAFATC. Once this initial training has been completed, the entire company will move via military ski-doo to the aircraft crash site located east of the Hamlet of Resolute to establish their camp. From this location they will provide security around the crash site, while at the same time conducting survival training as well as overland patrols within the South East quadrant of Cornwallis Island. This movement will take place within a defined operational area extending from the camp site to the east coast of Cornwallis Island and north of the camp site no further than 30 kms. Some groups may also return to the Resolute airport to conduct air patrols to the communities of Arctic Bay and/or Grise Fjord. Owing to light conditions in February, only established landing fields will be used. On 10 February 2018, the ARCG Main Body of approximately another 100 soldiers will arrive and move into quarters at CAFATC. Like the IRU Vanguard Company, they will then spend one night at Crystal City to complete acclimatisation training before moving to the camp at the crash site and relieving the IRU who will then return to CAFATC. The IRU will return south the following day (12 February 2018), however the ARCG will remain on the land performing the same sorts of tasks as the IRU until 16 February when they will return to CAFATC, pausing to conduct a brief rifle range at the location immediately east of the Hamlet of Resolute that has been previously used for such an activity. The ARCG will then return south on 17 February 2018 with the final exercise participants departing on 20 February following the return of all equipment and completion of any necessary clean-up activities. The following areas are proposed for use during NOREX 18.
Main Camp Location: 74.71227, -94.53873
Primary Operational Box: 74.62510, -94.83124
Grise Fjord Operational Box: 76.37650, -83.31482
Arctic Bay Operational Box: 72.97062, -85.72769
With the assistance of 1 CRPG members, the soldiers belonging to the IRU and then the ARCG will conduct training in the following primary skill sets:
Basic arctic operations;
Construction of improvised shelters;
Instruction in survival techniques;
Care and maintenance of weapons and ammunition in Arctic winter conditions;
Operate military Ski-Doo while towing loads using qamutik;
Employ military communications equipment;
Employ navigation techniques;
Practise integration of 1 CRPG members into planning processes;
Practise sanitation and hygiene during Arctic operations; and
Limited liaison with OGD.
4. List of Structures to be Erected.
The only structures to be erected will be the standard army issue ten-man tents. These tents will be used to establish the main camp at the crash site east of the Hamlet of Resolute. Smaller temporary camps may also be established to the east of the main camp on Cornwallis Island, as well as near the communities of Arctic Bay and Grise Fjord. The largest concentration of tents will be at the main camp on Cornwallis Island where up to 16 will be necessary. The table below illustrates anticipated camp size, location and duration.
Personnel on the Land
6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Main Camp (east of Resolute) 130 130 100 70
100 130 130 100 70 100 130
Arctic Bay 30 30 30 30
Grise Fjord 30 30 30 30
All site locations will be returned to their previous condition prior to departure. In and out clearances will be conducted at each location used for resupply or bed down. Digital images of locations will be taken during and after use and will be included in the Post-Operation In/Out Clearance Report.
5. Equipment to be Used.
Only Canadian Army equipment will be employed on NOREX 18. This equipment will consist of military owned BV-206 (no more than two), Ski-Doos, qamutik, tents and related camp equipment, radios, weapons (rifle and shotgun) as well as personal equipment.
6. Fuels to be Used and Container Capacities.
Normal gasoline will be used in the Ski-Doos which will be refueled from military issue fuel containers or civilian fuel cans. Gasoline will be transported either overland with the IRU/ARCG or via air in 20L containers. Ski-Doo oil will be in commercial packaging of 1L or 4L size. Naptha will also be required and will be in 3.75L tins or 20L plastic containers. Spill kits will be carried by each group. Drums (200L) of gasoline and naptha will also be cached at the main camp location. Aircraft refuelling will be conducted only at established airfield locations.
7. Fuel Spill Contingency Plans.
Spill kits will be immediately available when on the land. Containment systems will be erected around any fuel cache established. Specific direction concerning the mitigation measures required in the event of a spill will be provided to all NOREX 18 participants as part of the arrival briefing package. A spill response plan will be developed in keeping with the Joint Task Force North (JTFN) Spill Response Plan (attached for ease of reference). The NOREX 18 plan will address both spill response and reporting requirements.
8. Water Consumption.
All drinking water will obtained from CAFATC and will be transported to training locations in the form of ice blocks.
9. Waste Disposal.
All garbage and human waste will be returned first to CAFATC. Those items which can be disposed of at facilities in Resolute will be processed at that location. All other items will be returned south for disposal. Nothing will be released onto the land and no waste disposal will occur outside of Resolute. All locations visited by IRU/ARCG members will be returned to their previous condition prior to departure.
10. Methods of Transportation.
The primary means of moving members of the IRU/ARCG will be overland mounted on military Ski-Doos. Air insertion to selected locations will also be required and will be achieved using either contracted or military aircraft (Twin Otter or DC 3).
11. Environmental Components.
There will be no interaction with flora and fauna. If flora is located through the ice or snow, personnel will be instructed to set their tent elsewhere.
IRU and ARCG members will to the maximum extent possible avoid any interaction with wildlife. Where such interaction is unavoidable, the closest 1 CRPG member will be asked to provide advise concerning the appropriate response to be taken. There is no intention to conduct hunting or fishing as part of this training.
Only limited interaction with the local community at Resolute will occur, primarily through informal visits to the Northern Coop store. There is no plan to incorporate a Community Day in Resolute due to the very short duration of NOREX 18. There may however be limited interaction with the cadet corps at Arctic Bay through a small display of military equipment (details to be confirmed with cadet corps leadership).
Personnel will be instructed to not disturb historical or sensitive sites and visits to known locations will be prohibited. When planning overland movement, all routes will be reviewed with 1 CRPG who will provide further advice and guidance concerning known sensitive sites and the route amendments necessary to avoid these.
Any Hazardous materials (HAZMAT) used, such as fuel and naptha, will be packaged and transported in accordance with applicable requirements. Prevention/response resources (spill pans, hydrocarbon spill pads, absorbal, etc.) will be available and ready for use if required. Spill kits will be specifically located at all fuel storage areas, vehicle maintenance areas and refueling areas.
12. Potential Impacts.
Given the short duration of activities, the limited interaction with environmental components, and the proposed mitigation measures, there should be no negative impacts to the environment.
13. Reclamation Cost for Advanced Exploration.
There will be no advanced exploration activities.
14. Reclamation Plan.
All material and equipment, as well as waste materials, will be removed at the conclusion of the exercise. There is no plan to remove soil or rock or interfere with the natural grade of the land.
15. Inuit Socio-economic Benefits.
Members of 1 CRPG will be on duty as Canadian Army members during training and will receive salary as well as any applicable Equipment Usage payments. IRU and ARCG members will be permitted to purchase items from local shops such as the Northern Coop as well as art work from local vendors.
Attachments: JTFN Spill Response Plan