ARCHIVED - Sub-Exercise Prepares for Evacuation of Personnel from Unstable Countries

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Image Gallery

Article / May 26, 2014 / Project number: 14-0084

Cold Lake, Alberta — As tensions in the fictitious nation of West Isle increased, local residents  were happy to see members of 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI) arrive to conduct non-combatant evacuation operations  as part of Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE 2014 (Ex MR).

Following this exercise, Vanguard Company will be ready to deploy anywhere in the world, in support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Development (DFATD), to evacuate Canadian nationals, explains Lieutenant Colonel John Errington, Commanding Officer 3 PPCLI.

More often than not, political instability in foreign countries is the reason for the immediate extraction of  nationals, yet other situations may also trigger the need to deploy Vanguard Company.

“Vanguard Company’s mission during this exercise, and abroad, is to extract Entitled Personnel from different threat environments, whether it’s a natural disaster or political instability,” explains Major Hugh Atwell, Vanguard Company commander with 3 PPCLI.

A non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO) deploys forces within 72 hours in response to a rapidly deteriorating situation in an affected nation that is threatening the safety of Canadians.  A NEO is only conducted when all means of personal and commercial transportation have been exhausted.

Although time is of the essence, once Vanguard Company has deployed, there are protocols to be followed and a wide range of responsibilities that each organization involved is responsible for before extracting the Entitled Personnel to pre-designated safe havens.

“The task can be anywhere from 7 to 14 days and range in scope from small groups of logisticians who are deployed to coordinate the benign extraction of people, to deploying a company of 100 plus soldiers in order to provide security for both the Entitled Personnel and adjoining organizations such as Citizenship and Immigration Canada, DFATD, and the Red Cross, which all have different roles and responsibilities during a NEO,” Maj Atwell explains.

Conducted as a sub-exercise of Ex MAPLE RESOLVE 14, this training will validate the readiness of the 3 PPCLI soldiers who are tasked to support DFATD during any NEO tasked from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015.

“The 3rd Battalion prides itself on these types of operations, on being ready for short notice tasks, so we want to make sure we are agile and able to deploy and respond, should the nation and chain of command require us for any type of NEO,” LCol Errington says.

Date modified: