Exercise BLIZZARD NORDIQUE 2018: A real winter challenge


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Yves Bélanger – Servir

Officer Cadets of the Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMC Saint-Jean) went through the traditional Exercise BLIZZARD NORDIQUE from February 9 to 11.

For Officer Cadets Noémie Pelletier and David Belley, from Richelieu Squadron and Tracy Squadron respectively, it was their first time taking part in this annual exercise. Both in the first year of studies at RMC Saint-Jean, they said that throughout the three days, they learned to work as a team.

“This is the key to successful operation simulations. During these challenging days, we really learned to get closer to our colleagues,” said OCdt Belley.

OCdt Belley, who hopes to join the ranks of an armoured unit, noted that having spent a weekend with Le Régiment de Hull in recent months was very useful to prepare him for Ex BLIZZARD NORDIQUE.

OCdt Pelletier added that the exercise allowed future officers to work well together. “It made us discover each other’s strengths,” she said, admitting that she really enjoyed going to the exercise site aboard a Chinook helicopter. Her favourite part was working at the operations posts overnight, and transmitting the instructions of those in command. “I want to make a career in signalling, so it was a fantastic opportunity,” she noted.

Last fall, the two officer cadets attended Ex LEADERSHIP CONQUÉRANT at the Farnham site. They said the exercises are very complementary. “In fact, we discovered that a winter war has major differences. The cold is one of our enemies during this type of operation,” said OCdt Belley.

Each year, participants of Ex BLIZZARD NORDIQUE are presented with a different challenge. This time, organizers opted for the Ice Breaking Drill, in which the officer cadets had to face the water in Hayes Lake while the outside temperature was -10°C.

It was the most difficult time of the weekend. “I admit that I was a little scared to go, but a strong adrenaline rush got me through it,” said OCdt Pelletier.

To see more photos, visit the CMR Saint-Jean image gallery.

Image gallery

  • A woman in uniform performs the Ice Breaking Drill.
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