Exercises and Operations

The Canadian Army generates well-trained and well-led soldiers who are able to meet operational challenges. We develop their skills during exercises, which are simulated operations held throughout the year. Our members also gain valuable knowledge and experience at various Army training centres and schools located across the country. 

2nd Canadian Division
Exercise GUERRIER NORDIQUE

Exercise GUERRIER NORDIQUE is an annual winter training exercise conducted to confirm the capability of Joint Task Force East to operate in Canada’s North. In order to maximize the pertinence of the exercise, members of the task force train in a number of different areas across northern Quebec in all conditions.

Ex GUERRIER NORDIQUE also prepares Regular and Reserve Force personnel to react to national emergencies. Members train to aid civil power in times of crisis and react to natural disasters that may occur in the arctic environment. Ex GUERRIER NORDIQUE is part of the continued training that develops and maintains Joint Task Force East’s capability to deploy in the North.

Exercise RÉACTION ROYALE 

Exercise RÉACTION ROYALE is an annual autumnal training in which the senior staff of 2nd Canadian Division practices coordination with other governmental organizations, both federal and provincial, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Sûreté du Québec, Public Safety Canada, and Canada Border Services Agency.

The exercise simulates a complex international situation that develops in multiple phases. Central coordination for the exercise is provided by 2nd Canadian Division and involves training of the Headquarters of Joint Task Force East, a combat control team from the Primary Reserve, and the validation of command post capability for a territorial battalion group.

Exercise CASTOR MÉCANISÉ

Exercise CASTOR MÉCANISÉ provides yearly autumnal battle task standards training for members of 2e Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment that is aimed at confirming their operational capabilities. The exercise comprises a wide spectrum of tactical activities including offensive, defensive, enabling, and stability operations.

Ex CASTOR MÉCANISÉ activities occur on the ranges and training areas of 2nd Canadian Division Support Base Valcartier, and are progressive, culminating with company level live-fire training in realistic scenarios.

Exercise SAPEUR ENDURCI and Exercise SAPEUR POLAIRE

Exercise SAPEUR ENDURCI and Exercise SAPEUR POLAIRE ensure that soldiers of 34 Combat Engineer Regiment meet battle task standards for combat engineers and take place in the region of Rouyn-Noranda every winter. They are an opportunity for participants to practice the use of explosives and engineering equipment for mobility operations.

Taking place on public property around Duprat, Quebec, these exercised are also an opportunity to practice basic combat engineer skills while operating in a winter environment. This includes practicing different breaching techniques, notably mechanical, explosive and ballistic breaching. Members also have the opportunity to practice building landing zones on frozen lakes. These capabilities are essential for winter and Arctic operations.

Exercise SYNERGIE ROYALE

Exercise SYNERGIE ROYALE is a preparatory exercise for the Headquarters of Joint Task Force East to develop the capability to manage national-level operations in a degraded command and communication environment. It takes place annually in October at 2nd Canadian Division Support Base in Montreal, QC.

Centred on developing the operational planning process within the division, Ex SYNERGIE ROYALE gives the senior staff an opportunity to practice setting up and controlling an operations center and to polish their operational planning skills so that they have the capacity to control large scale situations if the need arises.

3rd Canadian Division 
Exercise PATRICIA WOLVERINE

Exercise PATRICIA WOLVERINE is the annual large-scale exercise for First Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (1 PPCLI). It takes place at the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre in Wainwright, AB during the month of October. The battalion practices both mounted and dismounted operations, working on leadership and tactical skills at the section and platoon levels.

During Ex PATRICIA WOLVERINE, 1 PPCLI also works on tasks specific to upcoming missions and conducts live-fire training at the platoon level. 1 PPCLI soldiers practice these mission-specific tasks so they have the capabilities and soldier skills needed for operational success.

Exercise KAPYONG SPADE

Exercise KAPYONG SPADE is the annual large-scale exercise for Second Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI). It takes place at the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre in Shilo, Manitioba during the month of October. Members of the battalion practice their leadership and tactical skills at the section and platoon levels through realistic scenarios and live-fire ranges.

During Ex KAPYONG SPADE, 2 PPCLI also works on tasks specific to upcoming missions and conducts live-fire training at the platoon level. Practicing mission-specific tasks ensure 2 PPCLI has the capabilities and soldier skills needed for operational success.

Exercise APOLLO MIGHT

Exercise APOLLO MIGHT is the large-scale exercise for Third Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI). It takes place at the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre in Wainwright, AB annually during the month of October. This exercise focuses on dismounted training, and sometimes involves the battalion’s mountain and airborne capabilities.

During Ex APOLLO MIGHT, 3 PPCLI also works on tasks specific to upcoming missions and conducts live-fire training at the platoon level. Practicing mission-specific tasks ensures 3 PPCLI has the capabilities and soldier skills needed for operational success

Exercise ASCENDING SAPPER

Exercise ASCENDING SAPPER is the large-scale exercise for 1 Combat Engineer Regiment (1 CER). It takes place annually at the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre in Wainwright, AB over three weeks in late September and early October. Members of 1 CER practice core sapper skills, heavy equipment use, and explosive ordnance disposal. 1 CER also conducts live ranges and live mine training during both day and night.

During Ex ASCENDING SAPPER, combat engineers from all over the country come together for the SAPPER STAKES, a 48 hour-long practical engineer section competition. The tactical and technical expertise of field sections is tested through this gruelling combination of soldier skills and complex engineering tasks.

Exercise ROUGH RIDER

Exercise ROUGH RIDER is convoy and sustainment operations training for soldiers from 1 Service Battalion. It takes place at the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre in Wainwright, AB during the month of September.

During Ex ROUGH RIDER, soldiers practice delivering equipment and supplies to forward battle groups to enable them to keep fighting.

1 Service Battalion also works on force protection measures such as building defensive positions while running convoys in hostile areas to minimize the risk to vital supply chains.

Exercise MERCURY WANDERER 

Exercise MERCURY WANDERER is the annual large-scale exercise for 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters and Signal Squadron (1 CMBG HQ and Sig Sqn) and focuses on developing the ability to support brigade level signals. It takes place at the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre in Wainwright, AB during the month of October.

During Ex MERCURY WANDERER, members of 1 CMBG HQ and Sig Sqn exercise the ability to establish voice and data communications between brigade command posts and the unit headquarters subordinate to them while also providing support to unit and sub-unit elements with their integral communications equipment. They also practice establishing and defending radio rebroadcast stations that extend the communications network and allow fighting elements to coordinate with one another.

Exercise PALADIN RESPONSE

Exercise PALADIN RESPONSE is a mobility support exercise that takes place at the Primary Reserve Training Center and in the Cultus Lake Provincial Park in Chilliwack, BC. Every year, in December, more than 250 soldiers from every Reserve combat engineer regiment in Canada join 39 Combat Engineer Regiment to practice bridge and raft design, planning, and construction.

Ex PALADIN RESPONSE is designed to develop the core combat engineer skill of gap crossing. This includes operating assault boats, assembling medium floating bridges, constructing Medium Girder Bridges, and building prefabricated modular steel “ACROW” bridges. The exercise is supported by elements from the Royal Canadian Navy and non-combat engineer trades from units within 3rd Canadian Division.

Exercise COUGAR RAGE

Exercise COUGAR RAGE gives the infantry soldiers of 39 Canadian Brigade Group (CBG) an opportunity to practice live-fire operations as well as maintain proficiency in weapons systems that cannot be fired in their normal area of responsibility due to range and training area limitations. It takes place annually in March at the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre in Wainwright, AB. The exercise has also been conducted at the U.S. Army’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

During Ex COUGAR RAGE the soldiers of 39 CBG fire their heavier and longer range support weapons such as the C6 general purpose machine gun, 84mm Carl Gustav medium range anti-armour weapon, and M72 short range anti-armour weapon. This training ensures that soldiers are proficient with these weapons systems when needed for in operations.

4th Canadian Division
Exercise PRECISE RESPONSE

Exercise PRECISE RESPONSE is a large-scale yearly NATO Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) exercise held at the Counter Terrorism and Technology Centre at Defence Research and Development Canada, in Suffield, AB. The exercise typically happens in July and involves the sampling and identification of biological, chemical, and radioactive elements. Approximately 200 specialists from across the Canadian Army and our NATO allies, gather to develop the tactics and capabilities necessary to build combined joint task forces capable of reacting to some of the most dangerous possible situations.

During Ex PRECISE RESPONSE, Canada leads the events, providing a headquarters and service and support. They also set up a decontamination company, a key part of CBRN response.

Exercise MAPLE STRIKE  

Exercise MAPLE STRIKE is a national joint close air support exercise which allows Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to conduct both currency and proficiency training in an integrated environment. Held twice a year in the spring and fall at the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre in Wainwright, AB, it is supported by aircraft from 4 Wing, based in Cold Lake, AB. The exercise is planned and executed by the Air-Land Integration Cell, part of the Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Center dedicated to facilitating joint operations between the Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force.

Ex MAPLE STRIKE is a stand-based exercise where members from all the brigades and international guests practice calling in support from aircraft and indirect weapons at multiple different stations. Using realistic scenarios and employing live-fire, participants conduct mobile, convoy, and urban operations, sharpening their skills and updating their qualifications.

Exercise UNIFIED RELOAD

Exercise UNIFIED RELOAD is a yearly computer-assisted exercise to maintain and enhance the high readiness Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group’s ability to conduct operational planning activities and concurrently exercise command and control in support of current operations. The exercise is conducted in February in Simulation Centres across the country and coordinated by the Canadian Army Simulation Centre in Kingston, ON. It provides the command teams and senior staff an opportunity to maintain and improve their skills in the planning and command and control of high-intensity tactical operations.

Command teams and senior staff command virtual troops facing a hybrid threat consisting of a near-peer conventional force and irregular units. They practice coordinating their operations with other elements and organizations from many countries in a virtual environment that simulates real ones they may be deployed to.

Exercise READY RENAISSANCE

Exercise READY RENAISSANCE is the annual confirmation exercise for Canadian Armed Forces personnel tasked with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions. It takes place in early spring every year in various parts of the country. Members from all Canadian Armed Forces elements come together with the Canadian Red Cross and the United Nations to practice responding to natural disasters such as fires and floods. Confirmatory exercises ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces is prepared to respond to worst case scenarios.

The exercise builds and qualifies Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), which is made up of experts and specialists from the Canadian Armed Forces and Global Affairs Canada. The DART is deployed globally on request to assist when local responders are overwhelmed during natural disasters or other emergencies.

Exercise ARDENT DEFENDER

Exercise ARDENT DEFENDER is the annual exercise for the Canadian Armed Forces Joint Counter Explosive Threat Task Force. Every fall counter explosive experts from the Canadian Armed Forces get together with other government departments and representatives from our allies, at 5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, NB to train, share best practices, and develop responses to emerging threats.

Ex ARDENT DEFENDER builds interoperability with allies and ensures that the Joint Counter Explosive Threat Task Force is able to respond quickly and effectively at home and abroad to explosive threats. During the exercise members practice explosive ordnance disposal in scenarios that simulate support to manoeuver forces and civil authorities.

5th Canadian Division 
Exercise MAROON RAIDER

Exercise MAROON RAIDER is an annual confirmation exercise that usually takes place in the late summer at the 5th Canadian Division Support Base in Gagetown, NB. It provides exciting and challenging combined arms combat training, and involves Regular and Reserve Force soldiers from units across Canada and sometimes members of the U.S. Army National Guard.

Ex MAROON RAIDER provides realistic training scenarios to engage and challenge all participants in order to improve the operational readiness of 5th Canadian Division. This training includes live-fire training during the day and night, combat maneuvers, defensive tactics, and combined arms battlefield tactics. Live-fire training events include close-quarter battle, live-fire from vehicle mounted weapons, infantry section attacks, artillery engagements, and engineer demolitions. This week-long field training exercise is designed to provide hundreds of soldiers with an opportunity to consolidate individual and team training as well as leadership skills acquired during the Canadian Army’s Full-Time Summer Employment initiative. Soldiers who participate in Ex MAROON RAIDER return to their units with valuable experience, broader knowledge, a sense of accomplishment, and a higher level of personal readiness.

Exercise MAROON SOJOURN 

Exercise MAROON SOJOURN is an annual validation of the Arctic Response Company Group. It is usually held in Goose Bay, N.L. in March, and is attended by soldiers from units throughout Atlantic Canada.

Ex MAROON SOJOURN provides an opportunity for soldiers to enhance their ability to conduct complex training in harsh sub-arctic environments and to work closely with allies from the United States and Poland, as well as the Canadian Rangers. Training includes defensive winter warfare tactics, live-fire rifle training, winter survival skills, and snowmobile operations. The ability to conduct training and operations in austere winter conditions is an essential component of the Canadian Army’s mission to protect our nation's sovereignty and interests in the North and helps ensure the Mighty Maroon Machine remains Strong Proud Ready.

Exercise NIHILO SAPPER

Exercise NIHILO SAPPER provides military engineers with an opportunity to practice and develop job-specific skills while providing a valuable service to community groups and not-for-profit organizations in various locations throughout Atlantic Canada. It is an annual exercise that takes place in the Fall.

Ex NIHILO SAPPER provides validation for Level Four Close Support/General Support Engineering. Soldiers exercise the planning and execution process that the Canadian Armed Forces uses to build and maintain facilities used to support operations in Canada and around the world. These facilities support a variety of missions such as disaster assistance, humanitarian aid, combat missions, and day to day operations to ensure the Canadian Armed Forces are ready to support operations as required in support of Government of Canada initiatives.

Exercise MAPLE ARCH

Exercise MAPLE ARCH is an annual multinational training event that aims to foster international military relations and the exchange of information and best practices. The exercise is organized in the fall each year by the Military Training and Cooperation Program, which provides training to developing non-NATO countries in order to establish and maintain relationships.

ExMAPLE ARCH is a 10-day command post exercise focused on peacekeeping and stability operations. It takes place in November in Eastern Europe. The Canadian Army holds teamwork and interoperability as key tenets, and recognizes that it must support and seamlessly integrate with its allies and partners. This interoperability is contingent on unit and brigade level training, which is exemplified by Ex MAPLE ARCH.

Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre 
Exercise UNIFIED RESOLVE

Exercise UNIFIED RESOLVE, involving more than 700 soldiers across Canada, is the Canadian Army's largest computer-assisted exercise. It takes place annually in February. Training personnel from the Canadian Army Simulation Centre in Kingston, ON and the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre in Wainwright, AB come together with the high-readiness brigade from either 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, in Edmonton, AB; 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Petawawa, ON; or 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Valcartier, QC to work through simulated scenarios that reflect real challenges in a modern and unpredictable security environment in order to validate a brigade headquarters as operationally ready for international operations.

Ex UNIFIED RESOLVE precedes Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE, during which soldiers conduct collective training in real time at the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre in Wainwright, AB. Ex UNIFIED RESOLVE allows commanders to confirm their skills before moving the troops on the ground.

Joint Readiness Training Center Exercises

Every February, Canadian Army members travel to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) in Fort Polk, Louisiana to practice complex Non-combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) missions with our allies. Approximately 500 of our soldiers experience this fully-immersive training environment, which is specifically tailored for light infantry forces.

The specifics of the training change every year, forcing those who attend to adapt to novel and changing situations and to develop a variety of skills. Training at the JRTC is indispensable to Canadian Armed Forces readiness and its ability to operate with our allies, which is often a requirement on NEO missions.

Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE

Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE is the Canadian Army’s largest joint force-on-force exercise of the year. It takes place annually at the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre in Wainwright, AB during the month of May. Soldiers from a high-readiness brigade from either 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, in Edmonton, AB; 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Petawawa, ON; or 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Valcartier, QC come together with personnel from the Canadian Army and Doctrine Training Center, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and our U.S. and British allies to test their skills.

Ex MAPLE RESOLVE validates Canadian Army deployable forces for contingency operations and tests their ability to integrate joint capabilities with multinational forces in an environment that closely models modern conflict, complete with simulated villages populated with professional actors, simulated media, and social media environments. This exercise provides a unique opportunity to validate combat readiness in support of the Canadian Army’s operational commitments, and Canada’s defence policy.

The Canadian Army plays a vital role in protecting the interests of Canadians both at home and abroad. From Arctic sovereignty patrols to disaster response, from humanitarian support to combat operations, the Canadian Army is ready to serve and stands on guard to protect all Canadians.

The Canadian Army generates well-trained and well-led soldiers for domestic and international operations which are carried out by the Canadian Joint Operations Command.

The main role of the Canadian Army is protecting Canadians at home.

On any given day, the Canadian Army is ready to defend Canada and to provide assistance to populations and regions affected by natural disasters, such as floods and forest fires.

Operation LENTUS
Fire fighters in a forest

OP LENTUS is the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) response to natural disasters in Canada.

Provincial and territorial authorities are the first to respond when a major natural disaster occurs in Canada. If they become overwhelmed, they may ask the CAF for help. When the CAF responds to such a crisis, it is known as Operation LENTUS.

Operation LENTUS follows an established plan of action to support communities in crisis. This plan can be adapted to multiple situations. These might take the form of forest fires, floods, ice storms, or hurricanes.

Operation LASER

Op LASER is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) response to a worldwide pandemic situation.

Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) leads this operation, and is the command authority for the six standing regional Joint Task Forces, through which CAF support is delivered. They are situated in key locations across the country and provide operational command and control for task forces in and/or deployed to their respective regions.

Joint Task Forces (JTFs)

The Canadian Armed Forces deliver continental operations through six regional joint task forces.

The Canadian Army is responsible for three of the JTFs:

Canadian soldiers must always be ready to participate in the full spectrum of international operations — from humanitarian assistance, to stabilization, to combat. Canadian soldiers are currently engaged in various international operations. The number of Canadian Army personnel deployed at any given period depends on operational requirements.

Operation IMPACT
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada and His Excellency Whit Grant Fraser, speak with Canadian Armed Forces members deployed on Operation IMPACT, during the Governor General’s Town Hall at the end of the visit at Ali Al Salem Air Base, in Kuwait on March 23, 2022.

Photo by: Sailor 1st Class Anne-Marie Brisson

Operation IMPACT is part of Canada’s whole-of-government approach to the Middle East. The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) mission is to build the military capabilities of Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, and set the conditions for their long-term success. Op IMPACT complements the work of other Canadian government agencies such as Global Affairs Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Op IMPACT began as the CAF support to the Global Coalition to degrade and ultimately defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria. The coalition has been effective. Under the command of Brigadier-General Timothy Arsenault, Op IMPACT, on behalf of the CAF, is continuing to work with partners in the region to set the conditions for stability and security.

Operation REASSURANCE
Black Hawk helicopter during helocast training

Photo by: Sgt Bern LeBlanc

OP REASSURANCE: The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have deployed personnel in Central and Eastern Europe as part of NATO assurance measures.

Operation REASSURANCE refers to the military activities undertaken by CAF to support NATO assurance measures through the provision of military capabilities for training, exercises, demonstrations and assigned NATO tasks.

Operation UNIFIER
Sniper takes a concealed position

Photo by: Canadian Forces Combat Camera

OP UNIFIER: Operation UNIFIER is Canada’s contribution to support Ukrainian forces through capacity building, in coordination with the U.S. and other countries providing similar training assistance. Military assistance is one component of Canada’s support to Ukraine across development, security, democracy, and humanitarian aid.

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