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U.S. Army Alaska and Canadian military join forces for cold weather training

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 5:24 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Members of the Canadian Air Force have been in Alaska training with U.S. Army Alaska during the Arctic Warrior 21 cold weather training.

The annual training aims to help U.S. Forces prepare for fighting in arctic climates. Having allies from Canada take part in the training helps the two countries work together said Lt. Col. Jorge Rosario, commander of the 1st Battalion 52nd Aviation Regiment General Support Aviation Battalion.

“This allows us to work with our Canadian partners. Our soldiers are the best ambassadors to our country and the ability for us to work together is one of those few little things that allows us to get better in our operation,” Rosario said.

Lt. Col. Rob Tyler is with the Royal Canadian Air Force 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron and said that being able to work together is a mutual benefit.

“The arctic is a common front for both Canada and the US, so having the opportunity to come north into the arctic, whether it is in our arctic or the US artic is always a good opportunity. It is a good training environment for us to be in,” Tyler said.

The Americans and Canadians teamed up to fly Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters on a joint mission.

However, Rosario said there were challenges, “The challenge of working for us together is really just getting our terminology right, getting our flight procedures right to make sure we can operate safely in support of the ground maneuver force.”

Tyler said that even though there are differences, they are able to overcome them and work together.

“In the end, between us and the U.S. Army, as different as we are, we are more similar than we think we are so being able to integrate with them and vise versa with us just shows how seamless it can be and how ready we are to be able to operate with our allies,” Tyler said.

Tyler and Rosario said they hope to be able to work together more often in the future. Tyler said he has already started the paperwork to be able to come back for Arctic Warrior 22 and would love to see the American forces be able to train with them in Canada.

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