On the morning of 11 September 2001, 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. The hijackers intentionally crashed the planes into targets in the north east of United States killing 2993 people including 24 Canadians and citizens of 90 different nations.
On 7 October 2001 the Prime Minister announced that Canada would contribute air, land and sea forces to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) being formed to conduct a campaign against terrorism in Afghanistan, thus, establishing OP APOLLO. In view to; Defend Canada's national interests, ensure Canadian leadership in world affairs, and help Afghanistan rebuild.
February 2002 1 RCHA deployed a Dismounted Mortar Troop from C Battery as a compliment to the Canadian forces being deployed as part of the ISAF deployment in Afghanistan. It consisted of Four 81mm Mortar Tubes, with three Fire Effects Detachments (FED) for a total of 28 Personnel. C Battery’s tasking included Defensive Operations, Combat Operations and Resupply Operations within the Area of Operations. The first round fired by the troop was the first Artillery round ‘fired in Anger’ since Korea. The Battery returned to Shilo in July 2002.
While C Battery was in Afghanistan the First Regiment had other personnel on Op GRIZZLY, the Canadian Forces support to the G8 Summit, in Kananaskis, Alberta in Jun 2002. The Regiment supported the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
2 August 2003, the provincial government of British Columbia December declared a state of emergency, with forest fires burning all over the province. The next day, the government of B.C. requested military for ‘Aid to Civil Authority’ assistance, and Op PEREGRINE was launched. 85 troops from the Regiment deployed to Merritt, B.C. to fight the fires.
Op APOLLO ended in 2003 and was replaced by Op ATHENA until July 2005. 1 RCHA retuned to Afghanistan with Op ARCHER. The 1st Canadian Battle Group was deployed with support from A Battery for TASK FORCE Orion (1-06) February 2006. The Battery consisted of 101 personnel, two Gun Troops each with two 155mm M-777, three Fire Effects Detachments (FED), and eight Forward Air Controls embedded in the Task Force. Over 114 Operational Fire Missions carried out in support of Task Force Operations. A Battery Returned to Shilo in November 2006.
January 2008 Op ARCHER still continuing, B Battery as part of Task Force AFGHANISTAN (1-08) deployed. The Battery consisted of 3 gun troops each with two 155mm M-777 and mortars as part of each gun detachment, four Fire Effects Detachments, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Troop, Headquarters and a Fire Support Coordination Centre. The Battery’s manning totaled over 250 personnel. B Battery fired the first Excalibur Round in support of combat operations. The Battery returned to Shilo in November 2008.
In October 2009 the Regiment provided Fire Support for the Battle Group of TF 3-09 deploying C Battery. The Battery consisted of three Gun Troops each with two 155 M-777 and mortars as part of each gun detachment, five fire Effects Detachments, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Troop, Headquarters and an Fire Support Coordination Centre.
In May-July 2011 the Joint Task Force West / Land Forces Western Area Commander took action in response to a ‘Aid to Civil Authority’ requests by the Canadian government. The First Regiment deployed on OP LUSTRE and OP LYRE to help Manitobans fight the highest flood level ever recorded on the Assiniboine River. All personnel of 1 RCHA amalgamated into the 2000 CF personnel force drawn from across western Canada.
The Regiment is currently under the command of LCol L.J. Hammond and continues to fulfill its role of providing indirect fire support to the 1st Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. The Regiment is pursuing a training regime that permits it to be ready for any task.