Approximately 1,500 troops, predominantly from 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group will participate in exercise ARCTIC RAM (Ex AR) in the N.W.T., and media embedding will run between the 13th to the 25th of February, 2012.
The main staging point for Ex AR is Yellowknife, N.W.T., in an area identified as the Sandpit. The communities of Behchoko, Whati and Gameti will serve as Forward Observation Areas (FOAs) where the majority of troops will be based during the exercise.
The aim of Ex AR is to build and improve Canadian Army Arctic capabilities. Among exercise highlights are three days of Arctic winter parachute jumping, a capability that has not been tested for decades. Troops will also mount a simulated major ground offensive as part of the exercise.
Unpredictable February weather makes the parachute jumping aspects tentative. With that in mind, below is the current parachute jumping schedule:
Tentative Parachute Jump Schedule
14 February: Jump into Behchoko, with the 15th as the alternate date.
18 February: Simultaneous jumps into Whati, and Gameti, with the 19th as the alternate date;
25 February: Jump into Apod Lake (approximately 20 kilometres southwest of Behchoko), followed by a simulated ground offensive by troops.
1. Journalists who wish to participate in Ex AR, may embed between the 13th and the 25th February 2012 depending on what aspects of the exercise they wish to cover, for a maximum of two nights stay at a FOA.
2. Journalists wishing to cover the parachute jump on the 14th of February, for instance, must be in Yellowknife airport at noon on the 13th, where they will be met by an Army Public Affairs Officer.
3. Journalists will be driven to the main staging camp where they will be briefed, and then shown to their accommodation in an Army tent.
4. From the main camp in Yellowknife, journalists will be transported to the FOAs as necessary and depending on weather; this may be by air or by road.
5. Journalists may only spend a maximum of two nights at a FOA.
6. Up to eight media crew at a time may be advanced to any FOA at a time.
Accommodation and Meals
7. Accommodation at the main camp is austere, with all personnel sleeping in Arctic tents; however, journalists who wish to stay at a Yellowknife hotel may do so.
8. If you chose the above option, you will be responsible for your transportation to and from the main camp for briefings, and for meeting other timings.
9. For journalists who chose to remain, the main camp runs a kitchen, with hot meals.
10. Meals at the FOAs are dry rations ONLY, military Individual Meal Packs.
11. Journalists will have limited access to the internet while at the Yellowknife Sandpit, and none at the FOAs. However, a list of WiFi hot spots in Yellowknife will be made available during the detailed briefing provided to media as they arrive.
14. The Canadian Forces will provide the following:
i) 1x Kit bag;
ii) 1x Thermal rest;
iii) 1x Bivvy bag;
iv) 1x Inner sleeping bag;
v) 1x Outer sleeping bag;
vi) 1x Sleeping liner;
vii) 1x Sleeping hood;
viii) 1x Parka (available sizes include x2 small, x4 medium, x2 large);
ix) 1x Mukluks (available sizes includex2 size 6, x2 size 8, x2 size 10, x2 size 12);
x) 1x Helmets (available sizes include x2 small, x4 medium, x2 large);
xi) 1x Ballistic eye protection (available sizes include x2 small, x4 medium, x2 large).
To register to be embedded for Ex AR 2012, please, contact Captain Christine Salt, Public Affairs Officer, 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.
Phone: 780-973-4011 ext. 7415. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org