Canadian Armed Forces warns central Alberta residents ahead of military training drills

A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier's shoulder in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

It would be a troubling scenario to comes across: dozens of Canadian soldiers in camouflage, brandishing weapons, seen on the move in a central Alberta area that borders on the Rockies amid a smoky haze and alongside multiple military vehicles prowling through the area. And that’s exactly what residents of Hinton, Alta., may well come across later this month.

On Monday, the Canadian Armed Forces said about 70 soldiers with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry will be conducting “reconnaissance patrol training” near Hinton between Oct. 7 and Oct. 16.

“During training, soldiers will make use of smoke-generating canisters [that are] about the size of [a] pop can and [that are] either green or grey in colour,” the military said in a news release. “Following the exercise, troops will sweep the area removing any canisters used during training.”
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The military said in the “unlikely event” a canister is missed after its members clean up the canisters, people should not touch it and rather contact the 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group at 780-973-4011 (extension 7415) in order to have it safely removed.

The Canadian Armed Forces says if anybody finds a smoke canister in the Hinton, Alta., area after it completes a training exercise in October 2018, they should not touch it and instead call the 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. Supplied by the Canadian Armed Forces

During training, people may notice unusual noises, including “the sound of blank ammunition being fired” in an area north of Highway 16, between Hinton and Obed.

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“There will be no live ammunition used in this exercise,” the military said.

“The purpose of the course is to train soldiers in the duties of a reconnaissance patrolman; moving discreetly and undetected in order to gather information and report on enemy activity.”

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The military said the City of Hinton and emergency service providers in the area have already been notified about the training to be held later this month.