4th Canadian Division’s Northern Exercise 2018 (NOREX 18)

Backgrounder / February 7, 2018 / Project number: bk-2018-02-07

February 2, 2018 – Ottawa - National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Northern Exercise 2018 (NOREX 18) is 4th Canadian Division’s (4 Cdn Div’s) annual northern exercise which takes place in Canada’s Arctic. Approximately 235 soldiers are deploying to Resolute, Nunavut from February 4 to 17, 2018 to demonstrate 4 Cdn Div’s ability to command, move, fight and communicate under harsh weather conditions in remote Arctic locations.

The Mission

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) maintains readiness and continues to enhance its ability to operate in the North, including participation in activities and initiatives with other government departments (OGDs) and agencies, through a number of annual exercises.

NOREX 18 is a challenging northern exercise designed to test the mobility, sustainability and survivability of 4 Cdn Div soldiers, and is aimed at maintaining an Arctic response capability. The exercise will be replicating a first response by the CAF to a major air disaster scenario in an Arctic location. Soldiers will be trained on the planning and response to this situation.

Scenarios will challenge soldiers to improve their situational awareness by engaging with the local community and ODGs as well as rehearsing the handover of responsibilities to new members in a Domestic Operation.

Throughout the exercise, soldiers will demonstrate Arctic survival and winter warfare skills in a harsh climate including weapons familiarization, operating survival equipment and conducting patrols.

The Participants

4 Cdn Div is responsible for all Canadian Army Regular and Reserve Force elements in Ontario, with the exception of a portion of northwestern Ontario that falls under 3rd Canadian Division - West.   

NOREX 18 will first see the deployment of the Immediate Response Unit (IRU) Vanguard Company followed by the deployment of the Arctic Response Company Group (ARCG) who will conduct a relief in place with the IRU.

The IRU Vanguard Company is composed of Regular Force members from 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, primarily consisting of members from 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, based in Petawawa, Ontario.

The ARCG is composed of Reserve Force members from 31 Canadian Brigade Group, primarily consisting of members from The Grey and Simcoe Foresters based in Barrie and Owen Sound, Ontario.

The CAF is committed to maintaining the highest degree of capability to respond to civil disasters at home. Formations such as the IRU Vanguard Company and ARCG ensure 4 Cdn Div is ready to respond to disasters in cold weather conditions.

NOREX 18 also offers 4 Cdn Div soldiers a valuable opportunity to work alongside the Canadian Rangers of the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (1 CRPG). The Canadian Rangers are a part of the CAF Reserves working in remote regions. They provide lightly-equipped, self-sufficient mobile forces to support CAF national security and public safety operations within Canada. They regularly train alongside other CAF members in Canada’s Arctic region.

The 1 CPRG area of responsibility encompasses Nunavut, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Atlic, B.C. which accounts for about 40 per cent of Canada’s land mass. 1 CPRG has over 1,850 Rangers in 60 patrols and more than 1,650 Junior Canadian Rangers in 41 communities across the north.

Canadian Armed Forces Arctic Presence

In order to enable training exercises and operations in the Arctic, the Department of National Defence (DND) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) partnered to construct a joint facility in Resolute, Nunavut. The facility houses NRCan’s Polar Continental Shelf Program as well as the CAF Arctic Training Centre. Arctic training further develops close operational relationships between 4th Canadian Division and the Canadian Rangers.

While operating in Canada’s North, the CAF often works in close partnership with other federal, territorial, and local partners. As such, we will leverage our new capabilities to help build the capacity of whole-of-government partners to help them deliver their mandates in Canada’s North, and support broader Government of Canada priorities in the Arctic region.

Over the last decade, the CAF has expanded Arctic operations, such as NOREX, and have prepared to meet the complexity of changing international challenges to contribute to international peace and stability, and to deploy in support of partners and allies in one of the world’s harshest environments.Canada’s Defence Policy: Strong, Secure, Engaged, is committed to improving mobility and reach in Canada’s northernmost areas, and to pursue a greater presence in the Arctic. The policy provides the CAF with the force size and equipment they need to succeed across the full spectrum of military operations including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peace support operations, or combat.

Related Products

News Release: Canadian Army Deploys to the Arctic to Conduct Northern Exercise 2018 (NOREX 18)


Sub-Lieutenant Andrew McLaughlin
Public Affairs Officer
4th Canadian Division
Phone: 867-252-3872 ext. 2355
Email: andrew.mclaughlin@forces.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca

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