Canadian Army to Conduct Emergency Response Exercise in Chatham-Kent

Over 600 Canadian Army soldiers from 31 Canadian Brigade Group (31 CBG), headquartered in London, Ontario will conduct Exercise ARROWHEAD RESPONSE from April 14-16, 2023, in multiple communities within the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, Ontario. Soldiers from across Southwestern Ontario will deploy to the area Friday and operate as a Territorial Battalion Group with Domestic Response Companies each of approximately 150 soldiers located at the Bothwell Area Sports Centre, the J.G. Taylor Community Centre, the Wheatley Area Arena and the William K. Erikson Arena. Smaller, Platoon-sized elements will operate in Wallaceburg, Thamesville, Ridgetown, Blenheim, Merlin, and Tilbury.

The aim of the exercise is to practise the planning and execution of domestic support operations, which take place after receiving a Request for Assistance (RFA) from civil authorities during a crisis like a natural disaster or industrial accident. 

31 CBG will respond to a simulated winter weather emergency, in a scenario that includes an RFA from a local Municipality. Overall, the exercise will include the deployment of three Domestic Response Companies to Chatham-Kent, Ontario, and other unit deployments including an armoured squadron, a combat engineer squadron, an administrative support company, a communications squadron, and a Headquarters to provide command and control of deployed personnel and assets.

The exercise scenario will include a variety of training tasks and objectives, including the set-up of reception centres, the establishment of command posts, a ground search and rescue with local authorities, and patrols in the community by vehicle and foot. There will be a “Meet a Soldier” event at the William K. Erikson Arena on Saturday, April 15, 2023, from 4:00-7:00 pm.

There will be many opportunities for the public to interact with Canadian Army personnel, and they are encouraged to visit the various locations and talk to the deployed soldiers. All Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members will be completely unarmed and will have no access to ammunition or pyrotechnics of any kind. It is asked that the public use extra caution when near military vehicles, as the CAF takes every measure to conduct safe exercises with minimal impact on the people living in the communities we serve.

Questions from the media can be directed to:

Lieutenant (Navy) Andrew McLaughlin
Public Affairs Officer
31 Canadian Brigade Group
Phone: 519-854-8697