20 soldiers of the Polish 6th Airborne Brigade are currently involved in training operations in Canada. They are participating in the Rafale Blanche 2016 exercise, organized in Quebec. The troops are carrying out operations as a part of the 3rd Battalion of the Canadian 22nd Royal Regiment.
The first days of stay of the paratroopers in Canada, at the Valcantier base, were used to carry out the preparations for the exercise. The troops used the equipment required for the Arctic operations, got acquainted with the Canadian operational procedures and the weaponry, they have received from the hosts. The paratroopers also got to know the rules governing the camp organization, food preparation or use of the communications equipment. Moreover, they were trained to use toboggans and snowshoes – as Cpt. Marcin Gil of the 6th Airborne Brigade reports.
The main part of the Rafaele Blanche exercise began on 2nd February. The Polish soldiers will return to Poland on 9th February. Meanwhile, on 2nd February, a group of 8 sappers of the Cracow 6th Command Battalion of the 6th Airborne Brigade, was deployed to Canada. Their destination is the Canadian Goose Bay base, where the annual Northern Sapper exercise is organized. Within three weeks, the paratroopers will cover a distance of several hundred kilometres, in Newfoundland and Labrador regions. Besides development of the winter-survival skills, the soldiers will also carry out typical sapper tasks, such as bomb disposal or demining operations in arctic conditions.
During their Canadian deployment, the paratroops got a chance to carry out missions in adverse terrain and weather conditions. Thanks to the above, they have acquired the survival skills, required to carry out combat tasks in conditions so extreme, unknown in the Polish climate. The training brings benefits later, during the missions usually carried out by the 6th Airborne Brigade.