An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | March 30, 2023

Minnesota Guardsmen Train in Canadian Arctic

By Tech. Sgt. Amy Lovren, 133rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

RESOLUTE BAY, Canada - Two members of the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 133rd Contingency Response Team (CRT) flew to Resolute Bay to train with the Canadian military on Arctic air operations survival.

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jeremiah Wickenhauser and U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Cody Hallas participated in the international Arctic survival training to strengthen international relationships and expand the CRT’s barren land Arctic survival skills.
 
“The Arctic environment is constantly trying to kill you; every task is harder in the cold,” said Hallas. “Every task takes longer, and the risk of serious injury is always present. Moisture management and the inability to dry gear is a huge issue. Cold, wet gear is miserable to wear and work in and extremely dangerous in the Arctic.”
 
The international course had guest survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE) instructors from the British Army, teaching alongside Canadian SERE specialists and Canadian Rangers. The course, which runs twice per year, hosted SERE students from across the world and Canadian aircrew. Minnesota Guardsmen trained with active-duty French, German and New Zealand military students in the frigid Arctic temperatures.
 
It was almost too cold to train. Most classroom trainings occurred in Resolute Bay near the 74th parallel north. The class then traveled by Small Unit Support Vehicle to Crystal City, a nickname for a frozen riverbed in a snow-filled canyon, for the five-day, four-night field training exercise. 

Students experienced temperatures ranging from highs around negative 25 degrees Fahrenheit to lows around negative 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The wind chill made it much colder, around negative 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Class members spent their days cutting snow blocks, building shelters, cooking food, melting water and trying to stay warm.
 
The Canadian Rangers, a subcomponent of the Canadian military made up of local Inuit members, harvested a seal and shared the raw harvest with the students. The Rangers also demonstrated how to build an igloo. The students then constructed an igloo and spent one cold night trying to sleep in it.
 
“It was awesome having our American counterparts endure this hostile environment while maintaining a positive attitude,” said Canadian Warrant Officer Dwane Guay, lead instructor for the Arctic Survival course. “They really embraced the training objectives and implemented the new technique confirmed by our method of instruction, demonstrations, and practices. It is always a pleasure to have positive, professional, allied troops interested in the Arctic environment, especially ones willing to share their experiences with their home units.”

 

 

Related Articles
The build-up of Omaha Beach. Reinforcements of men and equipment moving inland. Photo courtesy of Center of Military History.
80 Years Ago, National Guard Units Played Key Role in D-Day Landings
By Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy, | June 5, 2024
ARLINGTON, Va. – Their waterlogged footsteps were historic. That thought, however, most likely wasn’t on the Soldiers minds as they stepped ashore from rocking landing craft onto the French coast. Instead, the focus for most...

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Patrick Harrington, left, explosive ordnance disposal technician with the Massachusetts Air National Guard's 104th Fighter Wing, and Senior Airman Benito Pacheco, EOD technician with the Nebraska ANG's 155th Air Refueling Wing, review X-rays of an improvised explosive device May 13, 2024, as part of the Audacious Warrior exercise at Volk Field Air National Guard Base in Wisconsin. The nine-day exercise included over 70 participants assigned to the Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force Reserve and U.S. Marine Corps, as well as military EOD specialists from the Czech Republic.
Guard Conducts Explosive Ordnance Disposal Joint Training
By Senior Master Sgt. Paul Gorman, | June 4, 2024
CAMP DOUGLAS, Wis. - Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians from multiple services and countries converged on Volk Field Air National Guard Base May 13 for the 10th annual Audacious Warrior exercise.The 115th Fighter Wing...

U.S. Army Sgt. Ashley Brown, a geospatial intelligence imagery analyst assigned to Alpha Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 34th Infantry Division, volunteers to teach deployed service members American Sign Language, during a deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of operations, April 7, 2024. Brown learned ASL growing up as a child of deaf adults and enjoys teaching about deaf history, culture and sign language.
Soldier Teaches Sign Language to Deployed Troops
By Staff Sgt. Mahsima Alkamooneh, | April 22, 2024
UNDISCLOSED LOCATION - In the heart of the U.S. Central Command area of operations, where the focus is often on mission readiness and combat preparedness, one service member has taken a unique approach to foster camaraderie...