Researching The Royal Canadian Regiment

Norway, February 1971

Pro Patria No. 8, May 1971

SKJOLD, Norway - Feb. 2 - Canadian soldiers, using pack-horses equipped with snowshoes, today began the first of two operational exercises in the mountainous region of northern Norway.

Since their arrival in Norway late in January the 700-man Canadian Contingent, composed of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment and elements of the 2nd Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and the 2nd Service Battalion—all of CFB Petawawa—have been operating 335 miles inside the Arctic Circle in temperatures as low as 35 degrees below zero. The troops are using skis and snowshoes. while over-snow vehicles transport them to bivouac sites high in the timber line of the mountainous countryside. Most of the transport duties are being carried out by small pack-horses loaned to the Canadians by the Norwegian army. With miniature snowshoes strapped to their hooves. the hardy animals can carry 200 pounds of ammunition and supplies through the snow-covered mountain passes. During the past ten days each Canadian Platoon has carried out a 25-mile overnight hike through the mountains with the sturdy animals. For the next six days the Canadians exercised with Norwegian army units at the platoon level, then with a day off for rest. the entire contingent worked at company level in cooperation with Norwegian support troops.

Training for the Canadian Troops in northern Norway was arranged through a bilateral agreement with the Norwegian Government. as the remainder of the ACE Mobile Force is not exercising in Norway this winter. The 3rd RCR, commanded by Lt Col G.R. Cheriton, of Hamilton, Ont, is Canada's standby battalion for Allied Command Europe's Mobile Force designated for northern Norway. The Canadians returned home in mid-February.

Pro Patria

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