VALCARTIER (Québec) — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Environmental Training Working Group paid a visit to Quebec City between 13 and 16 September. Military training experts and environmental advisors held discussions on methods of integrating the environment into military training.
All NATO soldiers deployed overseas and to NATO countries on peacekeeping missions must undergo the same preparatory training and perform the same mission tasks. Since there are definite similarities in the way these troops are trained, NATO decided in 1996 to create an Environmental Training Working Group.
Member countries take turns hosting the two meetings held each year. During these forums, the countries describe the various problems they have encountered (past or present) and the methods they used to address them. According to Daniel Leclair, Director Land Environment in Canada, "The Army is doing a good job of environmental management both at its facilities and its training areas. It is vital that we maintain our course and continue to improve so that we can ensure the sustainability of our training areas and offer sustained operations readiness."
During their visit, the members of the working group attended two days of meetings and spent one day touring the Valcartier training areas. The representatives of the different countries invited were able to see first-hand how we care for the environment.
Colonel James Pollock, chairman of the working group, will forward the minutes of the meetings to the directors of NATO.
Article and photos by Sergeant Cédric Hamel