35 CBG Communications Detachment takes on the Arctic

A soldier testing equipment on icy ground
Master Corporal Nicolas Leblanc conducting a recharging test with photovoltaic panels. Photo: Sergeant Jérémie Vaillancourt

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Lieutenant Jean-François Wehrung – Servir

Exercise GUERRIER NORDIQUE 2018 was held from February 27 to March 10, 2018, in Kangiqsujuaq, in Northern Quebec.

The exercise brought together reservists from 34 and 35 Canadian Brigade Group, members of 2nd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, and the U.S. Army National Guard. Its objective was to allow the Arctic Response Company Group (ARCG) to test its techniques, tactics, and procedures in preparation for any potential operation in the extremely rigorous conditions of the north.

The 35 CBG Communications Detachment, which consisted of six members of Sherbrooke Squadron, 35 Signal Regiment, did an impressive job testing and solving problems. It provided ARCG staff with high-quality communications, and tested new equipment in the Arctic environment.

Captain Carl Pelletier, ARCG‘s permanent operations officer, said, “The austere environment of the Canadian Arctic requires effective communications, and the work of the 35 CBG team has undoubtedly demonstrated the relevance of high-fidelity communications that are essential to operate effectively in this hostile climate.”

The team worked hard to establish communication with the Tasiujaq Ranger patrol through a distance of 340 kilometers. “We had two limitations: using a single frequency rather than a range of frequencies, and building suitable antennas,” said Warrant Officer Jean-Sébastien Lemieux.

In the end, the team, supported by Master Warrant Officer François Girard, carried out a series of tests to determine the appropriate frequency. To solve the second issue, the team used a retractable pole and a set of insulating mats.

The detachment also tested a solar charging system developed by Sergeant Dominic Thomassin. “This device makes it possible to support communication elements during exercises in remote areas, giving them great autonomy,” says Sergeant Jérémie Vaillancourt.

At the end of the exercise, Lieutenant-Colonel Louis-Benoît Dutil, Commander of Exercise GUERRIER NORDIQUE 2018, declared: “The work done by the communications detachment is impressive both in the quality of service provided and the ingenuity of the solutions deployed.”

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