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.

Vermont National Guard Logo News
Articles
News | March 17, 2023

Tactical Insertion in the Arctic, First of Its Kind

By Capt. Mikel Arcovitch Joint Force Headquarters, Vermont National Guard

Thirty-seven U.S. and Canadian Soldiers were tactically inserted by way of an LC-130 Hercules on Arctic Ocean ice just east of Little Cornwallis Island in Nunavut, Canada, during exercise Guerrier Nordique 23 on March 15, 2023.

The multi-country and joint effort is the first ever platoon movement of its kind.

The New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing is the only ski equipped tactical C-130 with flying missions focusing on snow and ice landings, which is made possible by multi-capable Airmen trained to build and groom those runways. The LC-130H is equipped with 4 by 20 foot skis that make landing possible on specially built skiways and ski landing areas.

"We've been flying missions in Greenland and Antarctica for over 30 years, and this is the first time we've ever conducted a tactical insertion with Canadian reserve Soldiers," said Lt. Col. Matthew Sala, officer-in-charge of the 109th Airlift Wing's Polar Camp Skiway Team and Ski Landing Area Control Officers. "This is just the starting point for us to build from. We hope to expand our capacity and have more training missions like we had here with Guerrier Nordique. This exercise demonstrated the LC-130s full capability to infill and exfil tactical forces providing Arctic agile combat employment while also incorporating valuable training to our Multi-Capable Airman," said Sala.

Soldiers and Airman loaded the LC-130 at the Canadian Armed Forces Arctic Training Center in Resolute Bay. They were flown northwest to a location just east of Little Cornwallis Island. Airmen from the 109th had groomed a ski landing area on the Arctic ice, which is where the aircraft landed. The location was previously secured by a small section of U.S. Soldiers, Canadian Rangers, and a Canadian Pathfinder.

After landing, Soldiers disembarked and set a security perimeter 100 meters from the landing zone. Dressed in overwhite camouflage, Soldiers established their security positions. Soldiers were equipped with individual weapons, machine guns, and everything they needed to sustain themselves for up to three days in the Arctic.

"This is only the beginning," said Canadian Army Lt. Col. Andre Morin, land component commander for Guerrier Nordique. "The partnership between the Canadians and Americans is invaluable. I would like to see this exercise grow from here and make it bigger and better. We have now confirmed that we have the ability to deliver Soldiers in a very difficult environment. Eventually, in the future, I hope to have a Canadian battalion and a company from the United States."

Guerrier Nordique is a cold-weather training exercise for the Canadian Army that takes place in a different location each year. Resolute Bay is one of the few places that is located above the 60th parallel or the Arctic Circle. The Vermont National Guard has participated each year since 2012 and hopes to continue well into the future.

"This is my sixth time participating in Guerrier Nordique and it's gotten bigger and better each year," said U.S. Army Maj. Matt Hefner, officer-in-charge for the U.S. Soldiers during Guerrier Nordique. "This year the 105th and 109th Airlift Wings took part in the exercise and we certainly hope they continue in this multi-national and now joint training. The sky is truly the limit."

Most of the U.S. Soldiers delivered came from the National Guard; Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Utah were all represented. The 11th Airborne Division out of Fairbanks, Alaska, also sent two Soldiers. Canadian Soldiers taking part in the exercise are also mostly reservists from the 35th Canadian Brigade Group based in Eastern Quebec. Canada also sent Soldiers from the 34th Canadian Brigade Group, 4th Health Services Group, and from the Canadian Rangers. In total, 235 Soldiers and Airmen participated in Guerrier Nordique.

"Almost every single Soldier and Airman here are from the National Guard or a reservist in the Canadian Army," said Hefner. "Organizing and executing this task has been a challenge, but seeing the Air National Guard, Army National Guard, and Canadian Army Reserve work together to execute this exercise has been an awesome experience. The Hercules landing and those Soldiers coming out in close to 50 below was awesome."

National Guard News
Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard’s 3rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team conducted a training proficiency exercise April 11, 2024, at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. The team was evaluated by a U.S. Army North team.
Pennsylvania Guard WMD Civil Support Team Completes Exercise
By Wayne Hall, | April 12, 2024
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania National Guard’s 3rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team conducted a training exercise April 11 to validate its proficiency. In the exercise scenario, potentially contaminated...

Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marine Forces Reserve, and Maryland National Guard pose for a photo during Deliberate Response '24 at Warren Grove Range, New Jersey, April 6, 2024. The exercise demonstrated the partnership between the Maryland National Guard and the AFBiH through the State Partnership Program.
Maryland Guard, Bosnia and Herzegovina Conduct JTAC Training
By Master Sgt. Christopher Schepers, | April 12, 2024
WARREN GROVE, N.J. - Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in their first live-fire training exercise with state partner the Maryland National Guard April 2-6 at the...

Finnish Maj. Gen. Juha-Pekka Keränen, commander of the Finnish Air Force, meets with Virginia National Guard leaders April 8, 2024, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia. The VNG enjoys an enduring relationship with Finland that includes military training exchanges between Finnish Defence Forces and VNG Soldiers and Airmen.
Finnish Air Force Commander Meets Virginia Guard Leaders
By Mike Vrabel, | April 12, 2024
HAMPTON, Va. - Maj. Gen. Juha-Pekka Keränen, commander of the Finnish Air Force, met with Virginia National Guard leaders April 8 at Joint Base Langley-Eustis.Maj. Gen. James W. Ring, the adjutant general of Virginia, Brig...

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing, South Carolina Air National Guard, are greeted by family and wing personnel as they return from a six-month deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility April 10, 2024. Approximately 150 Swamp Fox Airmen deployed in support of 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central) to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, the unit’s first deployment as an expeditionary air base team under the new Air Force Force Generation model.
South Carolina National Guard Airmen Return From Deployment
By Capt. Lisa Allen, | April 12, 2024
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. - Airmen assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing returned to South Carolina April 10, ending a six-month deployment to U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility as part of the new Air...

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and the 337th Airlift Squadron from Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass., and U.S. Soldiers assigned to the 1-151st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, South Carolina Army National Guard, load an AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopter onto a C-5M Super Galaxy at Shaw AFB, March 22, 2024. The two-day process marked the first time U.S. Army AH-64Es were loaded into a C-5M at Shaw AFB.
Army, Air Force Team up to Load Helicopters at Shaw AFB
By Staff Sgt. Kelsey Owen, | April 11, 2024
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. - U.S. Army and Air Force units worked together to load two U.S. Army AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters onto a C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft at Shaw Air Force Base March 21-22.The helicopters assigned...