The Rocky Mountain Rangers participate in training exercises last weekend in the Chilcotin training area near Riske Creek. National Defence photo

Rocky Mountain Rangers touch down for training in the Chilcotin

The unit brought two 408 Squadron Griffin helicopters which locals saw at the airport and flying through the area

The Rocky Mountain Rangers were doing exercises last weekend in the Chilcotin Training Area, 47 kilometres west of Williams Lake and just north of Riske Creek.

“They were doing winter training, including load and unload drills on 408 Squadron Griffin helicopters,” said Krista Johns, social media manager, 3rd Canadian Division Headquarters with National Defence.

During Tuesday’s regular council meeting roundtable where the mayor and council update the public on what each of them has been doing, Mayor Walt Cobb said he ate dinner with six of the rangers on Saturday evening.

A Primary Reserve Unit with 39 Canadian Brigade Group, the Rocky Mountain Rangers are reserve infantry soldiers trained to augment Canada’s military during local, national and international deployments.

The force originated in Nelson, B.C. on April 1, 1908 when the 102nd Regiment was authorized to be formed.

National Defence acquired the area in May of 1924, after negotiations began to exchange a parcel of land it owned in Vancouver’s Point Grey area, presently UBC Endowment Lands.

Over the years DND has used the site for winter and summer training, and the officer training program ran courses from the mid-1970s to 1990s.

Cariboo Aboriginal Forestry Enterprises — formed two and half years ago by the communities of Esk’etemc (Alkali Lake) and Tl’esqox (Toosey) — is presently managing 41,000 hectares of forest in the Chilcotin Military Training Area.

Read more: Unique partnership garners 2018 BC Indigenous Business Award

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