Winter emergency response mock drill in CK

The military has not been deployed to help with the 2022 Christmas storm in Chatham-Kent, but hundreds of soldiers will conduct mock drills at municipalities this weekend to improve their winter emergency response skills in case any municipalities call for help .

Canadian Army Public Affairs Officer Lieutenant (Navy) Andrew McLaughlin said more than 600 soldiers from the 31st Canadian Brigade (31 CBG) based in London will be stationed in Bothwell, Whitley, Chatham, Fort Wallace, Thamesville, Ridgetown, Blenheim, Merlin and Tilbury train Friday to Sunday. Larger platoons will operate out of the Bothwell Regional Sports Center, JG Taylor Community Center, Whitley Regional Arena and William K. Erickson Arena, while smaller platoons will operate in other areas, McLaughlin said Practice.

Soldiers will respond to a simulated winter weather emergency after receiving calls from municipalities for help, according to the Canadian Army. McLaughlin added that the winter exercise program will include setting up a reception center, setting up a command post, conducting ground search and rescue with local authorities, and conducting vehicle and foot patrols throughout the community.

The exercise will include the deployment of three domestic response companies to Chatham-Kent, as well as an armored squadron, a combat engineer squadron, an administrative support company, a communications squadron and a command and control unit, he said.

“The purpose of the exercise is to practice the planning and execution of domestic support operations following receipt of a request for assistance (RFA) from civil authorities during a crisis such as a natural disaster or industrial accident,” McLaughlin said.

Chatham’s William K. Erickson Arena will host a “Meet the Soldier” event for those wishing to interact with Canadian Army personnel on Saturday from 4-7 pm.

The public is also encouraged to visit various locations and speak with deployed soldiers.

Lieutenant (Navy) McLaughlin stressed that all members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will be “completely unarmed” and will not have access to ammunition or fireworks of any kind during the weekend’s training exercise.

“We ask the public to take extra care when approaching military vehicles, as CAF takes every measure to conduct safe drills to minimize impact to residents of the communities we serve,” McLaughlin said.

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