Military marching through Chatham-Kent this weekend

Members from 5 Combat Engineer Regiment transport a beam to install a temporary bridge at l’île Verte, in Laval in Quebec during Operation LENTUS, May 13, 2017. Photo: Cpl Myki Poirier- Joyal

No, we’re not going to war, it’s just a drill.

Army soldiers from 31 Canadian Brigade Group (31 CBG), headquartered in London, Ontario will conduct exercise “Arrowhead Response” beginning on Thursday. Approximately 120 soldiers will deploy to the area as a domestic response company stationed out of the Chatham Memorial Arena. Community members should expect to see soldiers in military vehicles around Chatham-Kent.

The training is scheduled to wrap up on Sunday.

“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,” the 31 Brigade group said in a news release.

The exercise includes responding to a simulated hazardous material spill and will include the deployment of three domestic response companies to Chatham-Kent, Hanover, and Woodstock.

Other units being deployed include an armoured reconnaissance 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, states the release.

The exercise scenario will include a variety of training tasks and objectives, including the set-up of reception centres, the establishment of command posts, and conducting patrols in the community by vehicle and foot.

Residents are encouraged to visit different locations and talk with soldiers, who will not be armed during the exercise.

“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,” the 31 Brigade group said.