Canadian Army begins Exercise ARCTIC BISON 2017

News Release

February 16, 2017 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces 

Approximately 200 members of the Canadian Army will be participating in Exercise ARCTIC BISON 2017 in Gimli, Manitoba, from February 17 to 26, 2017. The exercise will see approximately 100 members of the Arctic Response Company Group (ARCG) travel by snowmobile from Gimli to Berens Island on Lake Winnipeg, with additional soldiers remaining in Gimli at the exercise headquarters or in supporting roles. 

During Exercise ARCTIC BISON 2017 members of the Regular and Reserve Forces of the Canadian Army will practice tasks such as long-range patrols, ground search and rescue, and casualty evacuation in an austere environment. The exercise will focus on the ability of the ARCG to force project, communicate, and sustain itself over 200 kilometres from its support base. 

Exercises such as these provide members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) with the opportunity to practice and develop new skills to ensure readiness for a wide spectrum of operations.

Additional multimedia

Members of the Arctic Response Company Group drive across the barren expanse of Lake Winnipeg during Exercise ARCTIC BISON 2015. ©2015 DND/MDN Canada


“Exercise ARCTIC BISON allows 38 Territorial Battalion Group and the Arctic Response Company Group to maintain the skills required to operate in Canada’s North. The rugged and austere conditions on Lake Winnipeg provide an excellent environment to practice movement and field craft, and to test our communications. As a national task, the Arctic Response Company Group needs to continually train in order to maintain these skills.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Sean Moran, Commanding Officer, 38 Territorial Battalion Group

“Exercise ARCTIC BISON will mark a milestone in the preparation and training of not only the Arctic Response Company Group, but also for the headquarters of the Territorial Battalion Group, as they prepare for domestic operations. Many soldiers take these ten days off annually from their work and away from their family in order to hone their individual and collective skills, and because they like the challenge of working in these rigorous conditions.”

Colonel Geoff Abthorpe, Commander, 38 Canadian Brigade Group

Quick Facts

  • Each Canadian Army Division maintains a trained and responsive ARCG, force generated primarily from the Army Reserve, which is trained and equipped to operate in all Arctic conditions.
  • Exercise ARCTIC BISON 2017 will involve participation from 38 Canadian Brigade Group (CBG), as well as military units from outside 38 CBG such as the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, and 440 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
  • The Canadian Rangers assist with training and exercises conducted by the ARCGs when operating in the North.
  • 38 CBG is an Army Reserve Formation consisting of a headquarters located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and 13 Army Reserve units distributed throughout Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

Associated Links


2Lt Stacie Nelles, 38 Canadian Brigade Group Public Affairs Officer
Phone: 204-833-2500 ext. 6543
After Hours: 204-688-3267 

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

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