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Van Doos visit Resolute

John Thompson
Northern News Services

Resolute (Mar 28/05) - Machine guns roared and spat lead a few kilometres outside Resolute on March 21.

The shooting practice involved Canadian Rangers who live in the area, as well as 81 soldiers from the Royal 22nd Regiment, better known as the Van Doos.

The two groups participated in exercises together and shared skills from March 14-28. The experience left many southern soldiers marvelling at the resourcefulness of the Inuit, said Sgt. Martin St-Charles, a Rangers instructor and former member of the Van Doos.

"They adapted to one of the harshest climates on Earth," he said.

When the Van Doos first arrived, Rangers showed the soldiers how to assemble qamutiks and how to tow one behind a snowmobile over rough ice. The southern soldiers also learned how to build iglus, fish and hunt for seals.

One group searching for seal returned with a polar bear. Others who tried their hand at fishing weren't so lucky, returning empty handed.

During the shooting practice, Van Doos showed the Rangers how to fire their rifles, as well as heavier weapons, while about a dozen residents watched.

"The Rangers don't have a chance to shoot their weapons very often," said St-Charles.