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SGresham, Hillsboro and Corvallis oldiers train in severe conditions with Canadian counterparts

Oregon Army National Guard soldiers navigated through the Canadian wilderness on snowshoes recently, traversing over nearly six feet of snow during a winter weather warfare training.

The Oregon soldiers serving with the Second Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, traveled to E. C. Manning Provincial Park, in British Columbia, for the Westie Avalanche Exercise, which took place from Jan. 24-28. The Oregon National Guard crews trained alongside Canadian troops from the Royal Westminster Regiment, 39th Canadian Brigade Group. 

The Oregon National Guard troop is headquartered in Springfield and has companies based in Gresham, Hillsboro and Corvallis.

Westie Avalanche provides training for winter survivability, cold weather tent operations and winter mobility, according to a press release from the Oregon Military Department. Since Oregon soldiers don't have many opportunities to train in severe weather conditions, personnel with the Army National Guard were paired with Canadian service members, who are more familiar with maneuvers in harsh winter weather.

In addition to building winter survival skills, the training is used to cultivate relationships with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) partners.

"Through active participation in light infantry engagements, we continue to build our ability to conduct our mission in any environmental situation alongside partner NATO nations," said Oregon Army National Guard Lt. Col. Kyle Akers.

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