Canadian Rangers Train Australian Counterparts in Western Canada Exercise

News Release

Canadian Rangers from the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group with soldiers from the North-West Mobile Force, on Exercise SOUTHERN CROSS 2016, participate in watermanship training in Darwin, Australia, from August 10 to 26, 2017.Photo credit: 4 CRPG © 2016 DND-MDN Canada

October 5, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Ten members of Australia’s North-West Mobile Force (NORFORCE) are in Canada to take part in Exercise NORTHERN LIGHTS from October 5 to 21, 2017. The exercise, hosted by the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, is a reciprocal training event where the two army units share best practices, training methods, procedures, and cultural aspects unique to both units.

The 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group has participated in training with NORFORCE since 2011. The last time the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group hosted the Australians on Canadian soil was during Exercise NORTHERN LIGHTS in October of 2015.

Exercise NORTHERN LIGHTS’ objective is to increase unit recruitment and retention while fostering bilateral relations.

Under Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy, the Government of Canada is committed to enhancing and expanding the Canadian Rangers, enabling a greater presence in Northern and remote communities in Canada.


“The reciprocal exchange between the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group and the Australian Defence Force’s North-West Mobile Force leverages the stark parallels in the history, current roles, and culture of both organizations to share best practices and to improve the quality of the respective units. The benefits of this international engagement include unit recruitment, while enhancing bilateral relations.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Russ Meades, Commanding Officer, 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group

Quick Facts

  • Training involves:

    • Cold weather training, mobility training and cultural experiences in Churchill, Manitoba;
    • Equine mobility training in Quesnel, British Columbia;
    • Wilderness survival training in Port Hardy, British Columbia; and
    • Watermanship training on the west coast of Vancouver Island to include the Royal Canadian Navy’s Maritime Tactical Operations Group.
  • The 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group has over 1,000 Canadian Rangers covering a geographical area that includes northern and isolated areas of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

  • The mission of the Canadian Rangers is to provide lightly-equipped, self-sufficient, mobile forces in support of the Canadian Armed Forces’ sovereignty and domestic missions. They often operate in sparsely settled northern, coastal and isolated areas of Canada that cannot conveniently or economically be covered by other parts of the Canadian Armed Forces.

  • The Canadian Rangers are a subcomponent of the Canadian Army Reserve Force. Currently, there are about 5,000 Canadian Rangers organized into five Canadian Ranger Patrol Groups, spanning more than 400 communities across Canada.

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Captain Chris Poulton, Public Affairs Officer
4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group
Phone: 250-391-4238
Mobile: 780-224-8487

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