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Troops paint the town red
Members of Joint Task Force North take part in the Red Shirt Run

Candace Thomson
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Traffic on Franklin Avenue was interrupted on Friday by a group of more than 100 soldiers from Joint Task Force North (JTFN). They were taking part in a country-wide Canadian Forces run to raise awareness for Red Fridays, part of the Support the Troops campaign.

NNSL photo/graphic

Canadian Armed Forces fitness instructor Ginette Boudreau, on her bicycle, leads soldiers from Joint Task Force North along Franklin Avenue. The soldiers were participating in the Red Shirt Run, which raises awareness of the Support the Troops campaign. - photo courtesy of Capt. Sandra Levesque

Ginette Boudreau, the fitness instructor who had a large part in organizing the run, said it's also part of the training by the Forces' personnel support program, which keeps troops in shape by encouraging active lifestyles and healthy living.

The run is also the last event the 440 Transport Squadron will have together before many members are posted to other parts of Canada.

"It's nice that we get this last event together as a unit before we get new people in," said Cpl. Taylor Major. "Then we'll get new people and probably do another event in the fall."

Major said it's also a chance to get out in the community.

"We all come together to show the community that we're here," she said.

The runners followed a five-km route along the McMahon Frame Lake Trail from the JTFN headquarters to Stanton Territorial Hospital. The day started with a community clean-up where JTFN members picked up garbage along both sides of 48 Street for more than two kilometres. The cleanup started early in the morning and lasted for nearly two hours before the troops met at headquarters to begin the run.

"Joint Task Force North, Team North, achieved their goal by conducting the cleanup safely and visibly along the site," said Tina Schauerte, personnel support program operations manager with JTFN.

The Loyal Edmonton Regiment of Yellowknife Company, part-time volunteer reservists with Canadian Forces, also kept busy over the weekend with "simunition" training at the Yellowknife Airport Fire Training Facility on Saturday. Simunition is firearms training using ammunition such as paint balls.

The group of about 20 soldiers marched along Ingraham Trail to the Giant Mine town site where they trained in urban patrols.

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