News Release Article from  National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces

Artillery training involving CF-18 Hornets to occur at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier

March 17, 2016 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Approximately 150 soldiers from the 5e Régiment d'artillerie légère du Canada (5 RALC) will take part in Exercise PIÈCES MOBILES, starting on Monday, March 21, 2016. The purpose of this training is to validate and maintain the skills of gunners who are on operational high readiness.

The Canadian Army (CA) will practice procedures for the planning and execution of firing plans for the M777 Lightweight Towed Howitzer on the battlefield. Throughout the duration of the exercise, three M777 Howitzers and approximately 1300 rounds of artillery will be used to achieve training goals.

The majority of the exercise will occur from Monday, March 21, to Wednesday, March 23, between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. This will serve to recreate conditions in which gunners may find themselves during expeditionary operations, and to promote operational readiness of the CA during the day and night. The training will take place mainly in the western sectors of Canadian Forces Base Valcartier.

The exercise also includes air support from the Royal Canadian Air Force that will train gunners in the surveillance and detection of shells using radar. During this training, two CF-18 fighter aircraft from 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec, will release one to three 500-pound bombs during each day of the training. Furthermore, a CC-150 Polaris from 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, will provide air-to-air refueling support.

Exercise PIÈCES MOBILES will also be used as work up training for Exercise PIÈCES AGUERRIES taking place in Gagetown, New Brunswick, from April 25 to May 13, 2016, which officers from 5 RALC will undertake during their Battery Commander’s Course.


"Maintaining a high level of skill and preparation is the primary mission of all units in the Brigade. Members of the 5e Régiment d'artillerie légère du Canada seize every training opportunity with motivation and professionalism. The gun used during Exercise PIÈCES MOBILES is an effective tool on the cutting edge of technology. It goes without saying that our gunners have a decisive position on the battlefield and opportunities for development and maintenance of skills not only strengthen 5 RALC, but 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group."

Colonel Michel-Henri St-Louis, Commander, 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group

Quick Facts

  • The high-tech M777 Howitzer can fire two to five 155mm shells per minute, with high accuracy, on targets up to 30 km. It has been designed to be handled easily and quickly transported by helicopter or by motor vehicle.

  • The 155mm M777 Lightweight Towed Howitzer is a system that provides indirect firepower at any time, day or night, and in any weather. The M777, developed by BAE Systems, is the lightest 155mm howitzer on the market, with a weight of 4175 kg.

  • As the Royal Canadian Air Force’s frontline multi-role fighter, the modernized CF-18 is used for air defence, air superiority, tactical support, training, aerobatic demonstration, and aerospace testing and evaluation.

  • The Canadian Army maintains high interoperability with the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force thanks to joint training opportunities that offer a realistic environment to strengthen capabilities, cross-organizational familiarity, and trust.

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Alex Maillé
Communications Advisor
5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters
Phone: 418-844-5000, extension 4688

Major Yves Desbiens
Public Affairs Officer
2nd Canadian Division
Phone: 514-2252-2777, extension 4378

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-free: 1-866-377-0811

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