The threat from explosive ordinances, both improvised and conventional, was one of the main focuses of Exercise ARDENT DEFENDER this year.
The 10th international counter-explosive exercise held at 5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown had over 300 military personnel participate from nine partnering nations.
“The ability to pull lessons from the battlefield and inject them into our training as quickly as practicable helps the Canadian Army build a strong, relevant capability for Canadian Armed Forces operations,” said Commander 5th Canadian Division Brigadier-General Stéphane Masson.
Focusing on lessons learned from the current operating environment, particularly in Eastern Europe, the exercise hosted approximately 180 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), along with 150 personnel from the following partnering nations:
- New Zealand
- the United Kingdom and
- United States.
The press release noted the threat from explosive ordinances, both improvised and conventional, has resurfaced and evolved in recent years.
Confirm and Consolidate Skills
“Operating in a world that is divided along multiple fault lines reinforces the importance of allies and partners. Taking the opportunity to come together, share lessons learned, and understand each other better enables us to face potential adversary threats in the future,” said Commander Canadian Army Lieutenant-General Jocelyn (Joe) Paul.
Exercise ARDENT DEFENDER also allowed the CAF to confirm and consolidate individual and collective skills in countering explosive threats.
From Oct. 20 to Nov. 2, 2023, the personnel participated alongside counter-explosive experts across the CAF and scientists from Defence Research and Development Canada.
Build Cohesive Understanding
“This year’s exercise aimed to build a cohesive understanding of current explosive threats, and the means to exploit and counter them. Explosive threats, both improvised and conventional, remain a constant threat in the face of new and emerging forms of warfare,” noted the press release.
The Canadian Armed Forces Joint Counter Explosive Threat organization planned, coordinated, and executed the Canadian iteration of Ex ARDENT DEFENDER. The organization is the authority for enabling and synchronizing actions to counter-explosive threats on behalf of the CAF.