Newsletters - Volume 53
2EW deploys to Meaford on Exercise Arctic Chill
Article written by Second Lieutenant D.R Chorney
"Ex Arctic Chill was a blast!" exclaimed Erik as he stepped off the bus after the return home to Kingston. MCpl Erik Bubleit, alongside the 2 Electronic Warfare Squadron recently deployed to CFB Meaford on Exercise Arctic Chill this past February. The unit deployed on the exercise to obtain their winter qualification thus ensuring the operational readiness of the unit. The first portion of the eleven day exercise was a blend of instructor led classes and confirmatory field drills of the material just learned. Once all the material had been taught the unit proceeded with the final confirmation in the form of the three-day three-night field operation in the Meaford training area.
Upon arrival at CFB Meaford we were welcomed by two feet of snow on the ground and a short brief given by the RSM. Soon after, all candidates formed into their tent groups and proceeded to move to their respective weather havens. "Last years winter exercise was exciting and very challenging, and I have high hopes for it this year" stated Cpl Mike Musgrave. Fortunately, Musgrave would not be disappointed. The instruction throughout the first week was excellent. The afternoons spent snowshoeing, setting up arctic tents, constructing improvised shelters, and cross country skiing in a real winter environment profoundly demonstrated the importance of the material previously learned, and also, served as an excellent source of physical training. "Lugging the 522 ManPack while pulling the toboggan on snowshoes up hill is one heck of a workout" guaranteed Musgrave as he stopped for a moment to catch his breath at the top of the hill.
The following Monday, the troops made final adjustments to their equipment in preparation for the three and a half days in the field to which they would embark. At dusk the troops loaded up into the transport vehicles and were sent off to the drop off point. Over the next few days the troops exercised their winter warfare knowledge while doing patrols during the days and settling into night routine in the evenings. The temperatures at night would drop down well below zero degrees, but "The arctic tent's keep surprisingly warm with the stove's running throughout the night" commented Cpl Chris Farr. The final night was spent constructing and occupying improvised shelters, and to everyone's delight, at around eight pm with shelter fire's roaring, LCol Paul Cooper stopped by and issued each tent group a rum ration. "The rum ration was a nice finish to the final night of the winter exercise; I had never had a rum ration before, so it was definitely an experience and a morale booster" commented Musgrave. The next morning the troops tried their hands at ice fishing and constructed winter defensive positions; they stood up well to live fire.
From the classroom to the field, from day patrols to night routine, and from snowshoeing to skiing, exercise Arctic chill was action packed and complete with excellent training. There is no doubt that after a much anticipated journey home the Squadron rested easy back in Kingston Friday night.