June 16, 2014 David Pugliese
Approximately 200 Canadian Army soldiers from 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Valcartier, Quebec will take part in Exercise LION MISTRAL alongside members of the French Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force from June 16-23, 2014, in Gaspé, Quebec, according to a news release from the DND.
More from the release:
Following a visit to Halifax Harbour on June 16-17, 2014, The Mistral, a French warship, escorted by the frigate La Fayette, will proceed to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence River to participate in Ex LION MISTRAL.
• Canadian Army soldiers, primarily from the 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment (1 R22eR), will board The Mistral, the French amphibious assault ship and helicopter carrier in Halifax on June 18;
• Canadian Army troops will conduct littoral operations, including running air-land operations and battle procedures, and establishing a helicopter landing site and a beachhead. Ex LION MISTRAL will also feature a humanitarian assistance air evacuation operation that will help train expeditionary forces to respond to humanitarian disasters;
• Ex LION MISTRAL will culminate in two disembarkation operations on a Gaspé beach on June 20-21 marking the end of the amphibious exercise. In response to a request by the town of Gaspé, the members of the 1 R22eR will also be offering a static display of their vehicles and equipment on June 21;
• More than 400 French Navy members of The Mistral and 175 of La Fayette will be participating alongside some 200 Canadian soldiers, including 20 engineers from 5 Combat Engineer Regiment from Valcartier;
• The Canadian Army’s participation will include ten Light Armoured Vehicles, one combat command post vehicle, and several logistics vehicles, to include an ambulance, a recovery vehicle, and a heavy transport vehicle;
• Also participating are 15 members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, with three CH-146 Griffon helicopters from the 430 Tactical Aviation Helicopter Squadron based at Valcartier Garrison;
• Ex LION MISTRAL is the first joint amphibious exercise between the Canadian Army and the French Navy. Amphibious exercises are part of a broader framework of littoral operations; and
• The Mistral class is a class of three amphibious assault ships referred to as “projection and command ships” (bâtiments de projection et de commandement or BPC), capable of carrying and landing helicopters and ground force armoured vehicles. The Mistral will be escorted by La Fayette, a multi-mission stealth frigate.