Solandt, Omond McKillop
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The speaker addresses the audience in the place of the Honourable Brooke Claxton, Minister of National Defence, who was attending the meeting of North Atlantic Defence Ministers at The Hague. First, a tribute to the memory of the late Laurence Steinhardt, the United States Ambassador to Canada. "Exercise Sweetbriar" an Exercise to test Canadian and United States Armed Forces in the field under sub-Arctic conditions. A brief outline of the main features of the Exercise. Then, a more detailed consideration of a few of the lessons that came out of the Exercise. The main object of the Exercise to develop doctrine and procedures for the employment of combined Canadian and U.S. forces operating in the sub-Arctic and to test in the field the latest developments in clothing, food, aircraft, vehicles, weapons and other equipment and material. Some details of the operation. The geographical setting and climate of the Exercise. Conclusions dealing with the general problems of the Exercise as a whole, then more specifically with ground problems, and finally with air problems. What the Exercise as a whole demonstrated in terms of problems of Arctic and sub-Arctic defence, most of which are human problems. Details of troop training. Basic problems of living in the Arctic. How terrain, rather than logistics, appeared to limit the number of men that could actually engage the enemy at any one time. Specific problems encountered by the Army. Improvements for weapons and equipment. The need to increase the mobility of the ground forces, and recommendations as to how this could be accomplished. The problem of longer radio links between units on the ground. The experience of the Air Force producing no new or unexpected problems. Some details of the aircraft involved, and the servicing of them in the open. Main problems encountered in the air those of communication and navigation. A summary of "Exercise Sweetbriar." A summary of general lessons learned dealing with clothing, food, personal equipment, individual training and leadership of ground-force troops, vehicles, the role of the Air Force, etc. The most important single lesson that of a renewed demonstration of the ease with which Canadians and Americans can work together in harmony.